37.6 C
Australia
Thursday, November 26, 2020

George Pell contempt trial: Extensive legal advice given over article, court told

Must Read

South Australia prepares to lift strict lockdown early after man’s lie to contact tracers was uncovered

Locked down South Australians will be allowed more freedom when more restrictions are lifted from midnight on Saturday.More restrictions are set to ease...

Brisbane teen with medical condition goes missing

Police are appealing for help to find a teen with a medical condition who has gone missing from her Brisbane home.Concerns have been...
The Indian Telegraphhttps://theindiantelegraph.com.au/
Established in 2007, The Indian Telegraph is a multi award winning digital media company based in Australia.


A court has heard extensive legal advice was given to news organisations before the publication of articles that are at the centre of the George Pell contempt matter.

The publications took a cautious legal approach to publication and legal advice was sought and given on multiple occasions, the Victorian Supreme Court was told yesterday.

An online article with the headline “The story we can’t report” appeared on news.com.au on December 13, 2018, referring to a “high profile Australian known across the world” who was convicted of a serious crime but unable to be identified by Australian media.

The court was told this article was automatically syndicated to other websites within the network of News Corp Australia, without the involvement of people employed by those websites.

News Corp Australia senior litigation counsel Marlia Saunders appeared as a witness on the third day of the trial, saying legal advice for the online story was sought and obtained twice from the company’s internal lawyer network the morning the story ran.

Similar advice was also obtained for sister publications, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Brisbane’s Courier-Mail.

The evidence came on day three of the trial of 18 journalists and 12 news organisations over an alleged breach of suppression order relating to Cardinal Pell’s conviction for sexual abuse in December 2018. Pell was subsequently acquitted of the charges. All defendants are fighting the charges.

The Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions brought the action against numerous journalists and media entities after they published or broadcast information the OPP alleges amounted to a breach of the then suppression order applying to the Pell case.

During cross examination on Wednesday, Director of Public Prosecutors barrister Lisa De Ferrari, SC, said data given to the court by Ms Saunders suggesting the Herald Sun online article about the high profile Australian had only 23 hits was “completely implausible”.

Ms Saunders said the article originated on the news.com.au website and was automatically syndicated to other online publications within the stable. But the low numbers suggested was likely to have been buried in the “back end” of the Herald Sun website, making it difficult for readers to find unless it was given a prominent spot.

The three-week trial before Justice John Dixon resumes on Thursday.

Cardinal George Pell leaving the County Court in Melbourne. Photo: Con CHRONIS/AFP
media_cameraCardinal George Pell leaving the County Court in Melbourne. Photo: Con CHRONIS/AFP

In other Pell-related news, it emerged on Wednesday Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog would not investigate unrelated allegations that more than $1 million was wired from the Vatican to Australia to support the case against the cardinal.

IBAC said it reviewed the information but there was not enough evidence to begin an investigation.

News Corp Australia is the publisher of NCA NewsWire.

Originally published as Extensive legal advice given over Pell story

Latest News

Unemployed man jailed over $3 million ‘wage’

A Perth man’s extraordinary claims to the tax workplace in a bid to pocket greater than $1m have unsurprisingly ended up with him...

IBAC: Former Vic MP Judith Graley denies being pressured by developer over rezoning plan

A former state Labor MP was branded among the many ‘fab 4’ by a developer who thought she’d assist his pursuits.A former Labor...

Geelong and Lara residents urged to get examined after COVID present in wastewater

Well being authorities are urgently warning residents in a small variety of Victorian suburbs to get examined after COVID was ‘unexpectedly’ present in...

Jarryd Hayne intercourse assault trial: sister of accuser’s texts detailed in court docket

The sister of the lady accusing NRL star Jarryd Hayne of sexual assault has instructed a court docket about what the pair texted...

Myer, David Jones launch big reductions for Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Two of Australia’s premier malls have slashed a whole lot of {dollars} off Dyson vacuums for the Black Friday gross sales.David Jones and...