- The Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police have been handed information regarding alleged payments in Cardinal George Pell’s recent trial
- The High Court overturned the child sexual abuse convictions against the Cardinal earlier this year
- An unsubstantiated claim has now emerged that a fellow Cardinal within the Vatican may have sent over $1.1 million to secure evidence against Pell
- Australia’s financial crime unit has looked into the claim and confirmed it had sent information to state and federal police
- The Cardinal accused of handing over the information has strongly denied the allegations against him
The Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police have been handed information regarding an alleged payment in Cardinal George Pell’s recent trial.
The High Court of Australia overturned all of the child sexual abuse convictions against the Cardinal earlier this year.
But, an unsubstantiated claim has now emerged that a fellow Cardinal within the Vatican may have sent money to secure evidence against Pell.
An Italian newspaper reported earlier this month allegations that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu sent €700,000 (around A$1.17 million) for the trial.
Cardinal Becciu’s lawyer has flatly denied the allegations against his client.
But, in a recent Senate Estimate Hearing in Parliament, the head of Australian financial crimes unit confirmed it had looked into the claim.
AUSTRAC Chief Executive Nicole Rose said the unit had passed on information to Victorian Police and Australian Federal Police.
“Yes I can confirm AUSTRAC has looked into the matter and we’ve provided information to the AFP and to Victoria Police,” she told the committee.
Neither agency have commented publicly on the claim, but Cardinal Pell’s legal team has long called for an inquiry into the original sex abuse investigation.
Pell was freed from prison in April, after the High Court quashed his convictions.