Board of Inquiry in Bruce Lehrmann trial finalizes verdict on whether charges should ever have been brought, after he was accused of raping Brittany Higgins
- The Board of Inquiry rules that the police acted lawfully
- The findings are not a reflection of guilt or innocence.
A public inquiry into the conduct of Bruce Lehrmann’s criminal trial concluded that the public prosecutor was right to bring charges based on the available evidence, according to reports.
The Board of Inquiry met in May and examined the actions of Shane Drumgold, ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions, and the police during the investigation and trial of Mr Lehrmann in October last year.
Former judge Walter Sofronoff handed over his findings to ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr on Monday, but they have yet to be published.
However, new reports claim that Mr. Sofronoff’s findings will indicate that the police acted lawfully when they charged Mr. Lehrmann, and that Mr. Drumgold’s decision to prosecute was correct.
Lerhmann was charged with sexual assault after Brittany Higgins alleged that he raped her inside Parliament in 2019. He pleaded not guilty and has always maintained his innocence.
A public inquiry into the way in which the criminal trial of Bruce Lehrmann (pictured) was conducted has found that the public prosecutor did well to bring charges based on the available evidence.
Lerhmann was charged with sexual assault after Brittany Higgins (pictured with her partner David Sharaz) alleged that he raped her inside Parliament in 2019. He pleaded not guilty and has always maintained his innocence.
The findings, as reported by news.com.authey are not a reflection of Mr. Lehrmann’s guilt or innocence; they are simply findings about whether there was enough evidence available to prosecute.
According to the publication, Sofronoff said in his report that none of those who appeared before him during the investigation said the charge should not have been filed.
During the hearing in May, he said: ‘I’m not interested in how the trial should have ended. I’m not interested in whether Mr. Lehrmann is guilty or innocent. I’m not interested in Mrs. Higgins.
‘However, I have to deal with the question of whether the charge should have been filed.’
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Lehrmann noted that he was not allowed legal representation in the investigation and that his request for funding was denied.
‘My interests were not adequately safeguarded during the investigation process,’ he said.
Lehrmann then launched a scathing criticism of News Corp, which first reported the Board of Inquiry’s findings.
The Board of Inquiry met in May and examined the actions of Shane Drumgold, the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions (pictured), and the police during the investigation and trial of Mr Lehrmann in October last year.
“Nothing reported by news.com.au is exclusive or new information, and surprisingly, the journalist did not attempt to seek comment from me,” he said.
For the rest, I refer you to my earlier statement regarding the director’s conduct after the indictment was filed, which was in any case the focus of the investigation.
The former policy adviser was tried in the ACT High Court in October, but the trial was derailed by a juror who brought prohibited research material into the jury room.
On December 2, Drumgold announced that there would not be a new trial against Lehrmann due to concerns about Higgins’ mental health.