‘No chance of a fair trial’ for Cardinal Pell

Gerard Henderson included the letter below in his Media Watch Dog No. 362, 26 May 2017

This is the letter, published in The Australian on 24 May 2017, by former senior Victorian Crown prosecutor Geoffrey Horgan SC:

No fair trial for Pell

I write of concerns expressed by organisations and individuals as to whether Cardinal Pell, should he be charged, could receive a fair trial in Victoria (“Pell publicity an abuse of process, warns Pearson”, 20/5).

I was a crown prosecutor in Victoria for nearly 20 years until my retirement a few years ago. I prosecuted many high profile cases.

Never have I seen such vituperation and opprobrium directed against anyone as I have seen in the press directed against Cardinal Pell over many months, if not years. While criminal lawyers would always say that no person can be untrialable, it seems to me that there is no chance Cardinal Pell could ever receive a fair trial, so poisoned has the public’s mind been.

That result is tragic both for the Cardinal and his accusers.

Geoffrey Horgan, Kew East, Vic