22 March 2018 | Melissa Cunningham | The Sydney Morning Herald
An ABC investigative journalist has agreed to read aloud more than 100 pages of her notes about Cardinal George Pell which his lawyer told a court were ‘‘unreadable’’.
Louise Milligan’s notes were subpoenaed by Cardinal Pell’s lawyers for his committal hearing on historical sex offences.
The Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday that a significant portion of Ms Milligan’s notes relating to her book, Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, were ‘‘unreadable’’, with the cardinal’s lawyers requesting that she read out and record her notes before she gives evidence next week.
Cardinal Pell, 76, faces multiple historical sexual offence charges involving multiple complainants. He is facing a hearing to determine whether he stands trial.
Details of the charges are yet to be revealed. He has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Robert Richter QC, representing Cardinal Pell, told the court on Thursday morning that Ms Milligan has agreed to dictate her notes onto a tape in a lengthy process expected to take hours.
Ms Milligan was expected to be grilled on the contents of the notes by Cardinal Pell’s lawyers on Monday morning, but Mr Richter said the ‘‘large task won’t be finished until Monday at lunchtime’’.
Mr Richter told the court Cardinal Pell’s team then needed time to review the notes before they cross-examined the journalist.
‘‘We need to have a chance to read what’s been transcribed,’’ he said.
Ms Milligan is now expected to give evidence to the hearing on Tuesday morning.
Magistrate Belinda Wallington asked Cardinal Pell’s lawyers to extend her gratitude to Ms Milligan for agreeing to the ‘‘enormous task’’ at such short notice.
‘‘We asked her much earlier,’’ Mr Richter said. ‘‘We don’t want to complain about anything but we did ask earlier.’’
Ms Milligan's book was removed from Victorian booksellers in advance of the current hearing.
The hearing continues.
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