Lisa Wilkinson’s The Project’s Brittany Higgins Logis Speech Criticized in Court

Project host Lisa Wilkinson has been criticized in court for a speech she gave after winning Logie for reporting on Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations.

Project host Lisa Wilkinson has been criticized in court for a speech she gave after winning Logie for reporting on Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations.

ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum warned that the line between indictment and guilty plea was “completely blurred” in a speech given by Wilkinson on Sunday evening.

Lawyers for Bruce Lehrmann, a man charged with one episode of non-consensual sex in connection with an overnight incident at the Houses of Parliament in March 2019, filed a new application on Tuesday for a stay of the case, given the pre-trial publicity surrounding the case. speech.

Mr Lehrmann pleaded not guilty and was interviewed by police stating that he did not have sex with Ms Higgins.

Lawyers representing Mr. Lehrmann filed a lawsuit this week after speaking in Logies.

“Your Honor, this speech was not necessary,” said attorney Steve Whybrow.

After criticizing the media for reporting on the speech, Judge McCallum warned that the distinction between accusation and guilt had been “blurred”.

“What worries me the most about this recent round is that the distinction between an indictment and a guilty plea was completely erased during the discussion on Sunday and Monday,” she said.

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“The implicit premise (of Lisa Wilkinson’s performances) is to celebrate the veracity of the story she revealed.”

She said Ms Higgins’ accusation was publicly merged with the work of former Australian of the Year Grace Thame, despite the man being convicted in the latter case.

“Grace Thame spoke about her experience after a man was convicted and served a prison sentence,” she said.

“[Theim’s]important contribution to the legal field was that he said, ‘The jury knows what he did, the public knows what he did, but I can’t talk about it because of the law that forbids me to reveal myself.’

“Miss Higgins is in the same category. And it’s not like that,” Judge McCallum said.

“At the moment it does not fit into this category. That’s what really bothers me in the last round.”

The Supreme Court was told that Ms. Wilkinson would be called as a witness at the trial.

On Monday, ACT Public Prosecution Director Shane Drumgold said Logies’ speech was an “eruption” of emotion, stressing that Ms. Wilkinson had said similar things before.

“It’s complicated, it’s all undesirable, it’s all tasteless, but the most annoying thing is that (the comment made on the radio broadcast “Jonsey and Amanda” during the reporting of Mrs. Wilkinson’s speech) is a direct admission of guilt, which they extrapolated in the context of the opinion of Ms. Wilkinson,” Mr. Drumgold said today.

A previous application for a stay was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Judge McCallum said Ms. Wilkinson’s overall speech was as follows: “Not only do I believe her, but she is brave and extraordinary and she is the most important thing that has ever happened to me and I am proud to nominate her.” accusation. ”

“We are aware that the defendant gave a taped interview in which he denies any sexual activity,” Judge McCallum said.

She said that the defense could be expected to consider the applicant’s credibility as a central issue in the case.

“And further can be expected, because in the practice of the courts it often happens that the queue and cross-examination will concern some other motive,” she said.

“Fame, fame, money, or you’ve got yourself into a corner you can’t get out of, or whatever it is, there will be an exploration of alternative motives. Besides, that’s exactly what happened that night.”

During Tuesday’s hearing on a new motion to stay the trial, Ms McCallum said she “made a mistake” by trusting the contempt law and the media.

“Isn’t it safer to postpone the trial?” Judge McCallum asked.

On Monday, Mr. Whybrow said that more than 800,000 search queries were made on Monday alone in connection with Ms. Wilkinson’s speech.

He also noted the reaction on Twitter and Instagram, as well as in the radio program and other news outlets, as evidence of scrutiny ahead of the trial.

He said that his client did not want to drag out the proceedings.

“He (Lermann) wants to get it done, but he wants a fair trial,” Mr Whybrow said.

Earlier this year, Judge McCallum warned “bluntly” that the trial could be delayed or not proceed at all.

“A man has been charged with a very serious offense, this offense can only be tried by a jury,” she said in the ACT Supreme Court.

“Contempt of court laws are well known in this country.

“Statements made before a criminal court that could interfere with the administration of justice and, in particular, the ability of the accused to obtain a fair trial, risk being contempt of court.”

She said she “strongly” urged people to be careful.

“If I could put it more bluntly, the more people talking about this case, the higher the risk that the prosecution will be suspended,” she said.

Judge McCallum will make his decision on whether a reprieve will be granted at 2:00 p.m. today.

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