What Everyone has overlooked

This recent essay in Quadrant by Chris Friel ‘What Everyone has Overlooked‘ should rather be titled, ‘Demonstrating Pell’s accuser lied’. He shows that the accuser’s story of what happened in the priest’s sacristy could not be right. His case is in the open paragraphs:

The Crown claimed, and still claim, that the complainant’s credibility was enhanced because he located the wine in the correct area of the sacristy, that is, in the alcove in the corner. To this the defence replied that maybe he got that knowledge from a tour back in 1996. But an attentive viewing of the interview with Pell and the police in Rome shows that originally the complainant did not locate the wine correctly at all. Beyond doubt the original location was a storage area that may be called a kitchenette as it contains two sinks (above). When the complainant visited the sacristy with the police he looked at that kitchenette and said that it was just the same as 1996. But the police were to learn after the interview that in 1996 the “kitchenette” was a wardrobe. The sinks had not been installed and the wood panels that apparently the complainant had described so well were not there. It was used for hanging albs.

‘So it is simply not true that, at first, the complainant correctly located the wine. What he did was place the wine where in 2016 it might reasonably be thought that the wine would be located – and incidentally, he got the colour of the wine quite wrong, as in 1996 only white was used. What this shows is that he could only have acquired his knowledge at a much later date, either from a visit or from coaching – an explanation that naturally he denied. Manifestly, this puts a completely different light on the complainant’s credibility; indeed, it destroys it. But these facts, which are very clear from open sources, appear not to have been appreciated. It’s important, then, that these points are made known before the High Court rules in a couple of weeks’ time. The jury, which may have been understandably misled by the Crown’s claims, would surely have taken a different view had they understood the evidence properly.’

Read the rest of the essay HERE. This is one of the most important of Chris Friel’s many essays on the Pell Affair. He adds some further explanation in a later essay, The Wine in the Wardrobe Revisited.