Connect with us


Lehrmann's lawyer accuses prosecutor of 'aligning' with Higgins



Bruce Lehrmann's lawyer has taken another swipe at the conduct of the ACT's chief prosecutor, accusing Shane Drumgold of "aligning" himself with Brittany Higgins.

At an inquiry examining how the case was handled, Steven Whybrow said he wasn't happy with a public statement given by Drumgold on the day the DPP announced it would not proceed with a retrial.

In December, Drumgold told the media he still believed there was a "reasonable prospect of a conviction", but was dropping the rape charge due to concerns about the impact of a second trial on Higgins' mental health.

READ MORE: Fears death toll of NZ hostel fire could rise

Whybrow said it was a "moot point" from Drumgold, describing it as a "pejorative stab" at Lehrmann.

"It was just an unnecessary statement that could only serve to be picked up and with the imprimatur of the DPP, taken by people in the community to suggest that he had thought he [Lehrmann] was guilty," Whybrow told the inquiry.

The original trial was abandoned due to juror misconduct, and there have been no findings against Lehrmann.

The inquiry also heard further details today of the tense relationship between police and prosecutors.

"My impression was that it was Mr Drumgold who was hostile towards the police," Whybrow said.

READ MORE: Human bone found off Byron Bay beach

Drumgold's lawyer Mark Tedeschi told the inquiry police had a "bizarre approach" to whether Bruce Lehrmann (pictured) should have been charged in the first place.

The lawyer representing Drumgold, Mark Tedeschi, said Drumgold was troubled by suggestions ACT police were "undercharging" in sexual assault matters.

Tedeschi told the inquiry police had a "bizarre approach" to whether Lehrmann should have been charged in the first place.

"We want to prove that it's true that [police] did have this attitude to sex cases generally and that [the Lehrmann case] was a classic example of it," he said.

"Had it not been for all the publicity, had it not been that the alleged offence occurred in Parliament House, this matter would have been dealt with like the other matters that have been, in effect, just ignored by the police."

The inquiry continues on Monday, when leading ACT investigators will give evidence.

Sign up here to receive our daily newsletters and breaking news alerts, sent straight to your inbox.

Source link