Lehrmann’s surprise attendance at inquiry

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Bruce Lehrmann has made a surprise appearance at a high-profile inquiry into the handling of Brittany Higgins’s allegations of rape against the former Liberal staffer.

Retired judge Walter Sofronoff KC is presiding over the independent Board of Inquiry, the ACT equivalent of a royal commission, which will hear from the Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold SC on Monday.

The inquiry will investigate whether police, the DPP, or the Victims of Crime Commissioner breached their duties during the case.

Bruce Lehrmann was spotted at the back of the room during the hearing.Bruce Lehrmann was spotted at the back of the room during the hearing.

Mr Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexually assaulting former colleague Brittany Higgins. The original trial was aborted due to jury misconduct.

A retrial did not proceed due to concerns over Ms Higgins’ mental health. Mr Lehrmann has vehemently denied the allegations and there have been no findings against him.

The DPP formally dropped the sexual assault charge

The public inquiry will hear from central figures involved in the prosecution, including Mr Drumgold and defence counsel Steven Whybrow SC, but Mr Lehrmann and Ms Higgins were not expected to appear.

Counsel assisting Erin Longbottom KC has previously told the inquiry the relationship between ACT Policing and the DPP was fractured from the beginning.

More to come

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