Christian Porter suing ABC journalist for defamation
Lawyers acting for Attorney General Christian Porter say he has faced a "trial by media" and will give evidence denying the "false allegations" under oath in a defamation case against the ABC.
In a statement Mr Porter's lawyer Rebekah Giles confirmed the Attorney General had commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against the ABC and Four Corners journalist Louise Milligan for defamation.
"The article that he sues on made false allegations against him in relation to a person who he met when he was a teenager," she said.
"Although he was not named, the article made allegations against a Senior Cabinet Minister and the Attorney-General was easily identifiable to many Australians as the subject of the allegations."
Ms Giles said over the last few weeks Mr Porter had been "subjected to trial by media without "regard to the presumption of innocence or the rules of evidence and without any proper disclosure of the material said to support the untrue allegations".
"The trial by media should now end with the commencement of these proceedings," she said.
"The claims made by the ABC and Ms Milligan will be determined in a Court in a procedurally fair process."
Ms Giles said Mr Porter would "have and exercise" the opportunity to give evidence denying the "false allegations" on oath.
"The ABC and Ms Milligan having published these allegations have damaged the reputation of the Attorney-General," she said.
"This Court process will allow them to present any relevant evidence and make any submissions they believe justifies their conduct in damaging Mr Porter's reputation."
Ms Giles said if the ABC and Ms Milligan wished to argue the truth of the allegations, "they can do so in these proceedings".
"Under the Defamation Act it is open for the ABC and Ms Milligan to plead truth in their defence to this action and prove the allegations to the lower civil standard," she said.
"Now that this matter is in the hands of the Court, the Attorney-General will not be making any further comment."
NSW Police drop a bombshell in Christian Porter rape scandal
Exclusive: NSW Police were never provided with the 31-page dossier outlining historic rape allegations against Attorney-General Christian Porter, Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has revealed in a bombshell document provided to a NSW Government Budget Estimates Inquiry.
In a statement tabled late this afternoon Mr Fuller said the Australian Federal Police had only ever sent a summary email "however no attachments were ever provided".
The NSW police were also never given the letter signed by the friends of the alleged victim, neither were they provided with any material that contained a denial of the allegations by Mr Porter.
The NSW police had established a task force to investigate the claims after the complainant, Kate, came forward to make a complaint on February 26, 2020.
NSW Police spoke to the alleged victim five times on the phone and corresponded six times via email and a face-to-face meeting in Adelaide was scheduled for March 16.
The COVID-19 lockdown prevented the meeting from going ahead and on June 23 2020 the complainant told police she no longer wished to proceed with the investigation.
She took her own life shortly afterwards.
NSW police closed the case.
Mr Porter, who is on leave, has strenuously denied the allegations and the federal government is under pressure to hold an inquiry into the allegations.
The Prime Minister and the Attorney-General have both said they too never read the allegations contained in the extensive document either.
Answering a series of questions that were placed on notice during a NSW parliament estimates hearing today, Mr Fuller said the victim had provided police with a two-page account of her claims in March 2020.
A friend of the victim had provided police with an 88-page document authored by the victim after her death on July 2 2020, Mr Fuller said.
Police spoke to the victim's sister in September last year and a friend of the victim also contacted police in June 2020, he said.
Asked whether police had had any contact with any federal minister, including the Attorney-General, about the allegations Mr Fuller said police received a letter via email on February 28.
He redacted the name of the minister and said he had not seen the letter himself or been in contact with the person.
Four investigators had been assigned to the case but they had never sought to talk to witnesses that had been at the events at the same time as Mr Porter and the victim, he said.
Originally published as NSW Police drop a bombshell in Christian Porter rape scandal