Brittany Higgins Accusation Trial: Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds Text Messages

Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds began testifying before the ACT Supreme Court on Monday, sharply changing the course of questioning by Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold.

Shortly thereafter, she was accused of providing “tips for cross-examination” to defendant Bruce Lehrman’s attorneys.

Lehrmann is accused of sexually assaulting former liberal staff member Brittany Higgins in the early hours of March 23, 2019, in Senator Linda Reynolds’ office.

Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to one count of nonconsensual sex.

The former defense minister walked into and out of court that afternoon in a coral pink blazer and swore an oath to the Bible.

“Have you tried to inform yourself of Ms. Higgins’ evidence in this trial?” Mr. Drumgold asked Ms. Reynolds.

“It’s just what I see in the media,” she replied.

“Listen to the question,” asked Mr. Drumgold.

“Did you try to get evidence of Mr. Higgins at this trial?”

“No. Lately?” said Mr. Reynolds.

She then suggested that prosecutors needed more clarity.

“Then let me ask you this question,” he replied. “Did you ask for a transcript of Mr. Higgins’ testimony at this trial?”

“Yes,” replied Ms. Reynolds.

“Because I wanted to know what was said, but my lawyer advised me that it wasn’t appropriate.”

Text to Attorney

Drumgold told the court that Reynolds “wrote a letter to my friend Steve Wybrow, an attorney.”

“You wrote an SMS asking my friend to send the minutes to your lawyer at the start of Mr. Higgins’ cross-examination, didn’t you?” he said.

“Yes, but I was advised that it wasn’t appropriate. I made it very clear that no.

Partner hearing evidence in court

Mr. Drumgold said to Mr. Reynolds, “You arranged for your husband to sit in the back of the coat, didn’t he?”

“No, he’s not my husband, but my partner was in court,” she replied.

“And he told you about the evidence that Mr. Higgins gave, didn’t he?” said Mr. Drumgold.

“No, he hasn’t done it yet. My lawyer is very clear and I was in Rwanda last week. I came back early today to testify.”

Mr Drumgold said in Mr Higgins’ testimony, “Are you in Rwanda?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“And does your partner live in Perth? And your partner finds himself listening to Mr. Higgins’ evidence in the back of the court.

“And two hours after Mr. Higgins’ cross-examination, did you text my friend and ask him to send you the transcript of the trial by your attorney?

“Yes,” she replied.

At one point, Mr. Lehrmann’s barrister, Steve Whybrow, objected, saying, “This goes far beyond reasonable adverse evidence.”

“Yes, I am aware of the test and intend to extend my leave,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucy McCallum said.

Senator asked defense counsel for Higgins evidence

Drumgold told Reynolds: did you know that On Thursday, October 6th at 4:27 PM, you texted Defense Attorney “Hi, do you have a daily record?” If so, can you provide me with a lawyer?”

Drumgold said: A lawyer will give them to you. “

“Yes, we did. But again, we were told it was not appropriate to make that request. So they weren’t sent.”

The senator admitted that he probably knew because it had been reported that Higgins’ cross-examination had begun.

“Then a minute later, I sent a text saying, ‘Also, if there’s a text message between Brittany and Nicky, could that come to light?'” Drumgold said.

“Yes,” she replied.

Nicky is a reference to trial witness and former Reynolds press secretary Nicole Hammer.

The senator said he didn’t have the text.

“Well, what were you going to do then? Tell the defense two hours after the cross-examination?” Mr. Drumgold said.

“So you’re trying to help him cross-examine you by injecting yourself?”

Earlier, Reynolds said she was “shocked” by the revelation that she first learned from her chief of staff, Fiona Brown, that there was a security incident at her office on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

Reynolds said there was a security breach and she was told that “two officials came to my cabinet office after hours.”

When asked what Ms. Brown said to her in a few subsequent conversations, Reynolds replied, ”I couldn’t remember what happened, but Ms. Brown was upset, so Higgins didn’t know what happened. I was concerned about your attitude,” he said.

In earlier evidence, Ms Brown said in court that Brittany Higgins told Ms Reynolds that she woke up and said she remembered Ms Lehrmann riding on top of her.

“And I said, ‘Oh. Oh my God,'” Ms. Brown told the court.

Asked if she told Mr. Reynolds before the meeting with Mr. Higgins on April 1, she said, “Yes.”

Higgins tells Reynolds he’s “dressed” the next morning

According to Reynolds, Higgins said he was so drunk on April 1, 2019, that the night the shooting allegedly happened and he couldn’t remember what happened that night.

“But in the process of saying it, she told me she woke up the next morning. I can’t remember the exact words, but she said she got dressed.”

“And at that point, she was in a bit of pain, too. At that point, I thought, ‘I’m not the right person to talk to.’ [to]’. Suppose there is a person who cannot remember what happened and she is in her clothes and is in pain.

“At the time, I told her, as her supervisor, I am not a trained counselor, and I am not the person to have these conversations.” , I suggested to her that I should have this conversation with a more competent person because I know we are doing community policing here at the ACT and that we need to talk to AFP. “

Michaela Cash and ‘political suicide’

Earlier, former liberal minister Michaela Cash was questioned by prosecutors about Higgins’ claim that she disclosed sexual assault allegations to senators before February 5, 2021.

She told the court she didn’t know there was a “sexual component” to the situation until February 2021.

Prosecutor Shane Drumgold asked Mr. Cash whether it would be “politically embarrassing” for the government if the sexual assault allegations were made public.

“Absolutely not,” she replied.

“I don’t see how that would be politically embarrassing. It’s something that needs attention.”

Mr. Cash was then asked by Mr. Drumgold if he knew the term “plausible deniability.”

She asked to put the question in context, then told the prosecutor, “I don’t understand what you’re trying to ask me.”

Lehrmann’s attorney, Stephen Wibrow, suggested to Cash that trying to cover up the staff’s sexual assault would be “political suicide.”

“Right. So my confusion with the previous set of questions,” she said.

Michaela Cash’s Chief of Staff Appears as Witness

Cash’s former chief of staff, Daniel Trie, was also present as a witness.

He agreed that one of the duties of the Chief of Political Staff is to protect him from political influence, but said he did not know about Higgins’ alleged sexual assault until early 2021 at the time. .

“This was something I didn’t know at the time,” he said.

In October 2019, I received a call from then-Defense Secretary Linda Reynolds saying she had a media inquiry. canberra times.

“I got a call from Linda Reynolds. She basically had a media inquiry about an incident that happened in Linda’s office when Brittany was working for her, so she wanted to talk to Brittany.” She said she was going to send someone from her office.

“It was really unexpected.

“Usually, you don’t get a direct call from a minister in another office.”

Trie said Reynolds said the incident wasn’t her fault, but didn’t explain what it was or that it was a sexual assault.

“I didn’t go into details, but I basically said it wasn’t Brittany’s fault. .

Brittany Higgins Accusation Trial: Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds Text Messages

Source link Brittany Higgins Accusation Trial: Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds Text Messages

Back to top button