Keith Windschuttle’s latest essay on the Pell Affair, ‘How the Rome Interview changed Choirboy’s Story’ shows what an appalling farce of injustice Victoria Police and Louise Milligan made of the complainant’s story to make the case against Cardinal Pell stick.
It is essentially this. The choirboy spun one story of what happened, which was gobbled up by the police and Milligan. This story prevailed between 2015 and 2016 when the police interviewed the cardinal in Rome. It was the version that Cardinal Pell and his lawyers had received from the police before the meeting. There were huge problems with this story as Windschuttle points out, so big that the police had to patch over the problems. The second patched-up version was sprung on Cardinal Pell and his lawyer whose bemusement at the discrepancies between the two versions is evident in the video of the interview. Windschuttle concludes:
‘What this indicates is that the case against Pell was never some immutable truth embedded in the choirboy’s memory. It was an evolving story created by the police and their sole witness, which they treated as a work in progress, and one which they could, when confronted with obstacles or inconsistencies, change at will.
‘So the story that impressed the Crown prosecutor so much that he put down his pen and stared blankly at the screen was not the only version of these events told by the choirboy and those who coached him. Moreover, the later story was so different to the first version that it must have incorporated a whole new range of fictions about the timing and location of the alleged abuse, and who was doing what and when, all of which must have borne their own share of invention too. In other words, those who found the choirboy such an impressive witness were very easily persuaded.’
The willingness of the media to do their own patching-up (favourable to the ‘boy’) is demonstrated by Windschuttle’s quotation from Megan Palin’s piece on that grubby little woke online operation news.com.au/