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George Pell's Defence Want Case Thrown Out

Cardinal George Pell's legal team argues the case against him should be thrown out of court and he should not stand trial on historical sexual offence charges.

Defence barrister Robert Richter QC on Tuesday called for charges against Australia's most senior Catholic to be discharged.

The most serious complaints should be regarded as impossible "and ought to be discharged without batting an eyelid", Mr Richter told magistrate Belinda Wallington, who will decide if Pell stands trial.

Mr Richter said the other charges should also be expelled because of problems with complainants' credibility.

But Ms Wallington said issues of credibility and reliability were for a jury to decide.

"Except when you get to the point where credibility is effectively annihilated," she said.

"As close enough to annihilation that it would be a waste of public money, time and effort to put the man on trial," Mr Richter replied.

He also said one of the possible motivations behind the allegations could be to punish a Catholic Church representative in Australia over sexual abuse by other clerics.

"We say that Cardinal Pell, representing the face of the Catholic Church, a prominent person, had been the obvious target of allegations that are not true but are designed to punish him, almost, for not having prevented sexual abuse for many years," Mr Richter said.

Pell, 76, was excused from attending Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday for legal arguments following a four-week pre-trial committal hearing in March. Pell denies the charges.

The legal arguments continue.


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