Sydney, March 15 - Australia Cardinal George Pell said on Friday in an interview with ABC radio that the controversy over the role of Pope Francis during Argentina's brutal military dictatorship in the late 1970s was simply "a smear and lie". "Stories have been dismissed years and years ago," he said. "The head of Amnesty International at the time said those charges were completely false. They were...laid to rest years ago." When asked if the newly-elected pontiff should respond to questions about his alleged inaction during Argentina dictator Jorge Rafael Videla's 'Dirty War', Pell said, "No, absolutely not". Articles critical of Pope Francis' role while still a Jesuit priest in his home city of Buenos Aires during the dictatorship years appeared Thursday in papers ranging from the New York Times to Spain's El Mundo and even Argentina's Pagina 12.