Prosecutor says Australian cardinal's convictions must stand

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A prosecutor argued on Thursday why Cardinal George Pell’s convictions for child sex abuse should stand on the final day of his appeal in Australia’s highest court.

Pope Francis’ former finance minister was sentenced a year ago to six years in prison for molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral while he was the city’s archbishop in the late 1990s.

Australia’s High Court on Wednesday heard the appeal of the most senior Catholic ever convicted of child sex abuse.

Prosecutor Kerri Judd on Thursday opened her arguments on why the 78-year-old cleric’s appeal should be dismissed.

Prosecutors have submitted that a Victoria state Court of Appeal had been correct in rejecting Pell’s appeal against his convictions in a 2-1 majority decision in August last year.

The prosecution case relied on the evidence of a former choirboy, now aged in his 30s with a young family.

The state appeals court had found that his evidence was not a “catalogue of impossibilities,” as Pell’s lawyers had argued, but a catalogue of uncertainties and possibilities.

The hearing is expected to end late on Thursday. The judges are expected to announce their verdicts at a later date.