FULL COURT PRESS

Dozens of Australian Journalists on Trial for Reporting Sex Abuse Conviction of Cardinal Pell

A criminal trial against 23 Australian journalists and 13 news organizations opened in Melbourne, Australia on Monday over reporting the clerical sex abuse conviction of top Vatican official Cardinal George Pell. The journalists are accused of breaching a suppression order put forth by the court and the news outlets are accused of aiding and abetting contempt of court by assisting overseas media. The journalists face maximum jail terms of five years and fines of more than $70,000. The news organizations face fines of more than $380,000. Lawyers representing the journalists argued that the trial will have “a chilling effect on future news reporting if they are found guilty.”