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George Pell still considering High Court appeal

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No decision has yet been made on whether Cardinal George Pell will appeal his child sexual abuse convictions to the High Court, a spokeswoman for the cleric says, despite reports to the contrary.

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The Age on Monday cited unnamed sources saying Pell will go to the highest court in the land, after his legal team advised he had a case based on the dissenting opinion of an appeal court judge.

But a spokeswoman for Pell maintains no decision had been made yet.

Victoria’s Court of Appeal last week upheld Pell’s December conviction for the rape of a 13-year-old choirboy and sexual assault of another at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996, by two votes to one.

Victorian Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and President Chris Maxwell voted to deny Pell’s appeal, but Justice Mark Weinberg voted for his acquittal.

Pell, 78, and his legal team have 28 days to file an application to the High Court.

The application needs to be granted before the High Court can hear any appeal.

A single judge would hear the application, considering factors including whether the case is a matter of public importance, whether the decision relates to a matter of law, or if it’s in the interests of the administration of justice.

-AAP

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