Former defence minister Linda Reynolds has been accused in the ACT Supreme Court of “coaching” lawyers acting for the accused during the trial.
Former defence minister Linda Reynolds has been accused in the ACT Supreme Court of “coaching” lawyers acting for the accused during the trial of the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins.
Bruce Lehrmann is accused of sexually assaulting the former Liberal staffer in Senator Linda Reynolds’ office in the early hours of March 23, 2019.
Mr Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexual intercourse without consent.
Giving evidence to the ACT Supreme Court, Senator Reynolds has confirmed she texted defence lawyers for Mr Lehrmann seeking transcripts of Brittany Higgins’ evidence on October 6.
Prosecutor Shane Drumgold confronted Senator Reynolds with the text messages to defence barrister Steve Whybrow in court.
He said they were sent at 4.47 pm Thursday October 6. Mr Drumgold also revealed that Senator Reynolds’ partner was sitting in court throughout the trial.
Linda Reynolds leaving court.
“You sent a text, “Hi do you have the daily transcripts.’”
Senator Reynolds told the court this was correct.
“Yes I did ask for them. But again it was explained to me that wasn’t appropriate,’’ she said.
Mr Drumgold also put it to Senator Reynolds that she offered suggestions for the cross examination.
“What was your motive in attempting to coach the cross-examination?” he asked.
“That’s not what I was seeking to do,” Senator Reynolds replied.
Brittany Higgins (second from left) at a dinner function with Linda Reynolds (left) in Perth on 15th May 2019.
Nicky Hamer is a former press secretary to Senator Reynolds who worked with Ms Higgins at the office at the time of the alleged incident.
“You are alerting the defence lawyer two hours into the cross examination. You are injecting yourself,’’ Mr Drumgold said.
Senator Reynolds told the court that, “I haven’t been through this process before.”
“You are clearly politically invested in the outcome of this trial,’’ Mr Drumgold said.
Initially, he suggested she was in Rwanda at the time.
“You are in Rwanda.You’ve not got better things to do in Rwanda?”,’’ he said.
But Senator Reynolds clarified she was actually in Perth.
During a tense examination today, Mr Drumgold told the ACT Supreme Court today that Senator Reynolds’ partner has been sitting in the court during the trial.
Senator Linda Reynolds has given evidence at the trial for the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins in Parliament House.
He then confronted Senator Reynolds in court with a claim she had sought transcripts from the defence team.
“You have sought the transcripts haven’t you,’’ Mr Drumgold said.
“Why? You arranged for your partner to be sitting in the court.”
Senator Reynolds she had not secured the transcripts because her lawyer told her it would not be appropriate.
“My lawyer was very clear,’’ she said.