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Controversy as vice-chancellor defends disgraced cardinal

Image: Kerry Myers [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Greg Craven, vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, has defended convicted sex offender George Pell, claiming the former Catholic cardinal and Vatican official did not receive a fair trial in Melbourne.

Craven, a high-profile legal academic, has written a character reference for Pell’s appeal against the conviction, describing him as “a deeply sensitive person”. Former prime minister John Howard is also among a group of 10 people who have provided character testimonials.

In an editorial for news website The Australian on the Pell court case, published on 27 February, Craven claims that journalists and “elements of Victoria Police” may have influenced the trial.

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