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HomeAustralian NewsPeter Dutton knew about alleged rape earlier than police, court docket hears

Peter Dutton knew about alleged rape earlier than police, court docket hears


Brittany Higgins has denied eradicating textual content messages and pictures from her telephone to hide them from police, saying she was “terrified” after then dwelling affairs minister Peter Dutton mentioned he had the preliminary particulars of her grievance earlier than she’d made a recorded assertion to police.

The previous Liberal staffer fought again tears throughout a tense cross-examination by her accused rapist Bruce Lehrmann’s barrister, Steven Whybrow, who mentioned that Higgins had missed police appointments on numerous events, together with on the day of the March for Justice in Canberra in early 2021, across the identical time she made her story public.

Higgins has denied trying to hide data on her phone from police.

Higgins has denied attempting to cover knowledge on her telephone from police.Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

The previous media advisor was testifying on the fourth day of the trial of Lehrmann, who’s accused of raping Higgins in Senator Linda Reynold’s workplace on the night time of Friday, March 22, 2019 after ingesting collectively at a Canberra bar. Lehrmann denies all the costs and his defence says he didn’t have intercourse with Higgins in any respect.

Higgins agreed that she declined handy over her telephone following an appointment with police on February 24. The court docket heard they made quite a few different requests and that Higgins didn’t attend a number of appointments.

The court docket heard that in a textual content Higgins despatched to her accomplice David Sharaz, she informed him she was clearing out her telephone earlier than going to police. “I used to be attempting to offer them to individuals, I wished them to exist,” Higgins mentioned.

“This goes to the center of why I used to be involved about handing my telephone to police – that week I discovered there’s a provision that any politically delicate issues which are throughout the remit of police get reported to the house affairs minister.

Peter Dutton got here out and mentioned he had a baseline define of my case earlier than I even gave an evidence-in-chief interview. I understand how info flows throughout the ministerial wing. I do know that it’s not siloed. I used to be very scared, so I used to be looking for authorized recommendation to know my rights as a result of I used to be terrified.”

Peter Dutton in 2019, when he was Home Affairs Minister.

Peter Dutton in 2019, when he was Dwelling Affairs Minister. Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

Higgins “brazenly admitted” to deleting knowledge as she wished to “scrub” them from her life, together with textual content messages and pictures of former Coalition minister Linda Reynolds, who she labored for when Lehrmann allegedly raped her in a parliamentary workplace within the early hours of March 23, 2019.

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