Victoria Police receive legal advice on Pell investigation

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Advice on historical sex abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell has been sent to Victoria Police by the state's Department of Public Prosecutions.

Victoria's Director of Public Prosecutions has handed advice to police over historical sex abuse allegations involving Cardinal George Pell.

Victoria Police confirmed in a statement on Tuesday night that it had received advice from the DPP "relating to a current investigation into historical sexual assault allegations".

"Detectives from Taskforce Sano will now take time to consider that advice," the statement reads.

"As with any investigation it will be a decision for Victoria Police as to whether charges are laid. As this remains an ongoing investigation, we will not be commenting further at this time."

News Corp reports the advice relates to allegations against Cardinal Pell.

The Cardinal is Australia's most senior Catholic official and has vehemently denied all abuse allegations made against him.

Speaking to reporters in Rome, Cardinal Pell restated his innocence.

"I stand by everything I’ve said at the royal commission and in other places," he said.

"We have to respect due process, wait until it’s concluded and obviously I’ll continue to co-operate fully.”

Allegations he abused boys while a priest in Ballarat were aired last year and a new book released on Monday makes further claims.

In a statement on Monday, Cardinal Pell called the book "an exercise in character assassination".

"The decision by (Melbourne University Press) to bring forward the publication of the book prior to any findings by the Royal Commission and while allegations are still under consideration by the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions is a blatant attempt to interfere in the course of justice," the statement said.

"Unlike MUP, the Cardinal will not interfere with the course of justice. He will await the outcome of due process before launching defamation action."

When approached for a statement on the Cardinal's behalf on Tuesday evening, the Catholic Archdiocese in Sydney said there was "no comment at this time".

Source: AAP, SBS News

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