Melbourne - Jailed former Vatican treasurer George Pell will appeal on Wednesday against his convictions for sexually abusing two choir boys in the 1990s and if an Australian court rules in his favour could be released or face a retrial.
Pell, 77, the highest ranking Catholic cleric worldwide to be convicted of child sex offences, was jailed for six years in March after being found guilty of five charges of abusing two 13-year-old boys at St Patrick's Cathedral while he was Archbishop of Melbourne more than 20 years ago.
The trial judge said that Pell, a former top adviser to Pope Francis, could die in jail. He is eligible for parole in late 2022.
He is appealing against his conviction on three grounds: the jury's verdicts were "unreasonable" based on the evidence, the judge erred by blocking the defence from showing a video graphic in its closing argument, and there was a "fundamental irregularity" as Pell did not make his plea in the presence of the jury panel.
The appeal will be heard by three judges and will be live-streamed on the Supreme Court of Victoria's web site. The appeals court is part of the state's Supreme Court.