Liberal MP Craig Kelly has taken to national television to repeat a series of fired up Facebook posts where labelled the George Pell case a “grave miscarriage of justice”.
The Federal Member for Hughes appeared on The Project defending his earlier comments about the case, when he agreed with controversial commentator Andrew Bolt, and accused the media of “lynch mob” behaviour.
Earlier today he had posted to Facebook a long argument titled: “Can our justice system prevail over a media lynch mob?”
Mr Kelly has come under fire for his support of Pell, who’s guilty verdict was made public on Tuesday, with many attacking him on social media.
“I think paedophilia is one of the most disgusting and abhorrent crimes we have in our society, and there’s no doubt that the Catholic Church has been responsible for covering up and have done and appalling job in this area for many, many decades,” Mr Kelly told The Project.
“But when it comes to this case of Cardinal Pell, we’ve seen over a long period of time, a lot of information come out about this case before it went to trial.
“And I think a lot of Australians would have had their mind made up about Cardinal Pell even before they heard any evidence.”
His comments come after two former prime ministers, Tony Abbott and John Howard, also expressed their support for Pell.
The interview became heated when Mr Kelly refused to acknowledge victims of child sexual abuse when asked how his comments might affect them.
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Mr Kelly went to reply about obliging by the rule of law in the country before he was told, “Please answer the question”.
“Well as I’ve said child abuse is the most heinous crime,” he said.
“No one in federal parliament has called out paedophilia and called for tougher sentences more than I have. But that being said we still have to oblige by the rule of law in this country and having witch hunts and lynch mobs doesn’t do justice appropriate place in our country.”
The interview became further heated when Mr Kelly refused to agree he was defending Pell, despite his Facebook post that said “he is a scapegoat not a child abuser.”
“I am not defending a convicted paedophile one little bit, I completely reject that assertion,” he said.
After he was challenged by that statement, he told T he Project panel: “I respectfully disagree,” he replied.
“What I’m saying is this case on appeal and once of the concerns that I have with this case is the amount of prejudice that was involved and the amount of wide publicity that happened before the trial occurred,” Mr Kelly said.
The politician said he would return to the show to denounce Pell if his appeal was dismissed