Ten lawyers objected to Lisa’s Logies speech

Commandant Joanne Cameron said she advised investigators not to hold meetings with Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyers during his trial.

A Network 10 attorney has dismissed claims that she had a hushed conversation with Lisa Wilkinson about her Logies speech during a meeting with the ACT’s chief prosecutor.

The head of the prosecution, Shane Drumgold SC, claimed after preventing Wilkinson from reading her prepared Logies speech and warning her of the risk of publicity, the two had a private conversation.

Mr Drumgold said he understood that her lawyer would also advise her of the risks involved in such a speech.

He told the inquiry he was “100 per cent confident her lawyer was giving her advice when the microphone went on mute.”

The interview with Brittany Higgins on “The Project” won the award for Reporting or Public Affairs Report at the Logies. Photo credit: Channel 9

On Friday, Network Ten’s attorney Tasha Smithies said she “doesn’t accept” his recollection of the events.

The inquiry previously found that the high-profile journalist was “utterly devastated” by the media over a Logies speech, delaying the trial

Mr. Drumgold claimed that he effectively warned Wilkinson not to give the speech, telling her that any further publicity could delay the process – which it eventually did.

But he has admitted that he should have been clearer.

In a written statement on the investigation, Wilkinson insisted she had not been warned.

“If Mr. Drumgold had told me not to give the speech, I would have followed that advice,” Wilkinson wrote.

Police had a ‘weak case’

A senior police official says his personal opinion is that the case against Bruce Lehrmann is “weak”.

Australian Federal Police Commander Michael Chew said as part of the inquiry that he initially assumed there might be “insufficient evidence” to pursue a prosecution.

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But his mind had changed after reading evidence compiled by Detective Superintendent Scott Moller and receiving advice from Mr. Drumgold.

“It was a matter that should rightly be examined in court,” Mr Chew said at the inquest on Friday.

Commander Michael Chew said he considered the case “weak”.

The attorney supporting Erin Longbottom also pressed the commandant about a diary entry from Superintendent Moller alleging that Mr Chew spoke of “political interference” in the case.

Mr Chew accepted his comments but said he was citing intense media scrutiny, the location of the alleged attack and the fact that Government ministers – including the Prime Minister – had commented on the high-profile case.

“It was quite a unique case,” he said.

The threat of resignation does not mean that the police have lost their objectivity

The story goes on

Mr Chew was also asked to consider whether a remark made by one of the lead investigators to Mr Lehrmann’s defense counsel gave rise to concern.

Evidence presented as part of the inquiry revealed that Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman had announced that if the jury returned a guilty verdict, he would resign.

Mark Tedeschi KC, representing Mr. Drumgold, asked the Commander if he agreed that it was an “unusual” remark by an officer of inspector rank.

“It would be unusual for anyone to make such comments,” Mr Chew said.

“It shows a lack of objectivity, would you say?” Mr. Tedeschi replied.

“I wouldn’t say that, no.”

Police officer feared “conspiracy ideas”

A senior police officer said she advised investigators not to speak to Mr Lehrmann’s lawyers during his trial, fearing it would fuel rumors of a conspiracy with the defence.

Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police Joanne Cameron, who led the team investigating Ms Higgins’ rape allegation, said during an inquiry the case had sparked “conspiratorial ideas”.

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Ms Cameron said she recalled Superintendent Moller being “quite upset” after receiving a call from Mr Whybrow midway through the trial.

Ms Cameron said she was concerned about fueling rumors that the police had colluded with the defence. Image: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

She couldn’t remember the reason or reason for the defense attorney’s call.

On Thursday, investigators were presented with an angry email, which they sent to Mr Drumgold and his subordinates after being informed of the call.

“I recall having conversations with the Director (Mr Drumgold) which led me to believe that he suspected that the actions taken by the police were disgraceful or intended to somehow influence law enforcement,” Ms Cameron said on Friday.

“I recall conversations with the warden indicating that there was a problem with the professionalism and impartiality of some of my police officers, including Superintendent Moller.”

Mr Drumgold previously told the inquiry that he was concerned that “police are actively trying to undermine the successful prosecution of the case”.

Although it was legal for police to speak to the defense, she feared doing so would only fuel false rumors of inappropriate behavior.

A phone call between Mr Whybrow and police raised concerns. Image: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Mr Whybrow has denied that the interactions he had with police were inappropriate.


The senior police officer stated that when she was appointed to command ACT Policing, she became aware of a misunderstanding about the indictment threshold.

The research found that ACT Policing is developing a “more robust framework” to help officers better understand the charge decision.

Chairman Walter Sofronoff said it was clear “something needs to be done to create consistency”.

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In her written contribution to the inquiry, Ms Cameron pointed the finger at Mr Drumgold for confusing police over the legal review of a charge.

“Some police officers were…confused by the strongly held view of the ACT DPP and ODPP that the indictment threshold should focus solely on the word ‘suspect,'” she said in her written statement on the inquiry.

Ms Cameron said she was aware of the confusion when she was appointed commander. Image: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

She said it was outside the DPP’s “responsibility” to express its views on the charges to police officers.

“In my opinion, it created confusion and put unnecessary pressure on these police officers… It also blurred the lines between the different roles of investigator and prosecutor.”

Senior Constable Emma Frizzell, a member of the team investigating Ms Higgins’ allegation, told the inquest on Thursday that to date, police still have a misunderstanding about the legal test.

She said she only found out during the course of the investigation that she was not using the correct threshold.

Mr Drumgold has previously told investigators that they were confused about the test that is designed to charge people with sexual assault.

He has also accused ACT police officers of having a “professional deficit,” lack of accountability in sexual assault cases, and holding outdated views.

Mr Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexually assaulting his former colleague at Parliament House in 2019 before the trial was abandoned due to jury misconduct.

Mr Lehrmann consistently denied the allegation and the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to bring a second trial because of concerns about Ms Higgins’ mental health and dropped the charges.

The investigation continues.