George Pell confirms he will attend court hearing on historical sexual assault charges

George Pell confirms he will attend court hearing on historical sexual assault charges

George Pell confirms he will attend court hearing on historical sexual assault charges

Updated 24 July 2017, 18:00 AEST

Cardinal George Pell will appear in person at a Melbourne court hearing this week after being charged with historical sexual assault offences.

Cardinal George Pell will face a Melbourne court in person this week after being charged with historical sexual assault offences.

Australia's highest-ranking Catholic has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault against a number of complainants.

Pell was not required to appear in person and could have opted to have a lawyer represent him for the file hearing, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

Speaking in Rome last month after Victoria Police announced he had been charged on summons, Pell strenuously denied all of the allegations.

The 76-year-old returned to Australia earlier this month after taking a leave of absence from the Vatican, where he is an adviser to the Pontiff.

A file hearing will be held at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning and the court said he would not receive any special treatment.

Pell is the first cardinal to face court on criminal charges since the 1940s.