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Audio: Keith Windschuttle discusses his book with the ABC’s Andrew West


The Persecution of George Pell chronicles how the highest levels of the police, judiciary and politicians in Australia, plus victim lobby groups, compensation lawyers, and journalists, used bogus accusations of child sexual abuse to persecute, convict and jail an innocent man.

Keith Windschuttle uncovers the campaign aimed not only at personally destroying one of Australia’s most influential religious leaders, but also of trashing the reputation of the Catholic Church. Had it succeeded, the campaign would have set damaging precedents for the rule of law in Australia. Pell spent 400 days in prison before a unanimous judgment of the High Court finally set him free.

To get their man, lawyers, judges and a Royal Commission reversed long-standing legal principles, including the presumption of innocence, the onus of proof, and guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Every claim of child sexual abuse, they insisted, must be believed. This is the story of profound injustice heaped on one individual and the social and legal damage caused by radical ideologues convinced of their own virtue.

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Quadrant Books, 408 pages

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