A cancelled look from Lehrmann inquiry chair Walter Sofronoff KC is shaping as much as be a key battleground in a judicial evaluation declare introduced by former DPP Shane Drumgold in opposition to the Board of Inquiry as he fights to have opposed findings made in opposition to him revoked.
Mr Sofronoff was as a consequence of seem on the Queensland Media Membership on August 25, however his scheduled handle was cancelled on August 8, in the future after his ultimate report on the prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann was tabled by the ACT authorities and two days after a leaked model of the report was revealed by The Australian newspaper.
Legal professionals showing for Mr Drumgold, who resigned from his place because the ACT’s high prosecutor August 6 after Mr Sofronoff’s damning evaluation of his actions throughout Mr Lehrmann’s prosecution, advised the ACT Supreme Court that the occasion, which was to be hosted by The Australian’s nationwide affairs reporter Hedley Thomas, was proof Mr Sofronoff was not neutral in his evaluation.
“The truth that Mr Sofronoff was to be hosted by a journalist who was with The Australian on the twenty fifth August goes to this (alleged) apprehended bias argument,” Mr Drumgold’s authorized counsel Terry O’Gorman advised the court.
“If it was cancelled due to the truth that a report had been leaked within the method it had, and the media protection that adopted, that’s one factor.
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“If it was cancelled as a result of Mr Sofronoff realised it was inappropriate for him to be appearing on this method at that individual time (that’s one other).”
Mr Drumgold’s lawyers mentioned proof submitted by Mr Sofronoff’s lawyers was inadequate, because it did not element when or how the settlement between Mr Sofronoff and the membership was reached.
Citing a tweet selling the occasion in court on Friday, Mr Drumgold’s lawyers sought additional correspondence referring to the speak.
In keeping with the outline of the occasion, titled “Politics, journalism and social media v The presumption of innocence”, Mr Sofronoff would “handle the dealing with of allegations made by Brittany Higgins in opposition to Bruce Lehrmann and points raised”.
“His handle to the Queensland Media Membership will focus on the problems raised together with modern challenges to a basic authorized precept,” the occasion billing learn.
Mr Sofronoff’s authorized counsel John Sheehan opposed the invention of the paperwork on the grounds that there was inadequate proof to handle the allegation that there was an settlement for an handle.
“I perceive my pal‘s curiosity … however this court isn’t conducting a fee of inquiry into the fee of inquiry,” Mr Sheehan mentioned.
However Justice Stephen Kaye, who’s overseeing the judicial evaluation, ordered the manufacturing of additional correspondence.
A push by Mr Drumgold’s lawyers for any name and textual content message logs, and different cellphone information between Mr Sofronoff and journalists – specifically The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen and the ABC’s Elizabeth Byrne, who acquired leaked copies of the inquiry’s findings – was not objected to and has been adjourned to an additional instructions listening to on December 15.
Individually, six law enforcement officials have now utilized to be a part of the case, because the report’s findings are “typically beneficial” to them.
Mr Lehrmann pleaded not responsible to sexually assaulting parliamentary staffer Brittany Higgins in a ministerial workplace at Parliament Home in 2019.
The trial was aborted final October as a consequence of juror misconduct, with the Division of Public Prosecutions abandoning a retrial as a consequence of issues for Ms Higgins’ well being.
The cost was subsequently dropped and Mr Lehrmann has at all times maintained his innocence.