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Australia news updates live: Queensland floods death toll at seven; PM offers military support for Lismore; nine Covid deaths recorded








Bruce Lehrmann assembling fresh legal team for possible trial delay

The prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged sexual assault of Brittany Higgins was in the ACT supreme court today for a callover (mention).

The acting chief justice, Michael Elkaim, asked if Lehrmann’s legal team was going to apply for a permanent stay. This follows comments from his legal team questioning whether he is able to get a fair trial due to the amount of public discussion of the case.

John Korn replied there had been “no talk of a permanent stay” and there is currently no application at present.

Korn said:


For a variety of reasons, for the moment that is all I can say. That’s not to say there won’t be [an application for a stay], hopefully there will be. I won’t be counsel if there is such an application. [He is] getting a different legal team that can look after that.

Justice Elkaim said he had been told to say if there is to be an application, it should be in by mid-March.

The matter is going to be called over again for a brief mention before the chief justice on Thursday 10 March. Korn said he hoped to be able to explain Lehrmann’s position then.

Shane Drumgold, the ACT director of public prosecutions, told the court this is the first he’d heard of the possible application.

The matter is still listed for a four to five week trial beginning 6 June.

Earlier in June, Scott Morrison clarified an apology to victims of harassment in Australian Parliament House, stating it was “by no means a reflection on the matters before a court”.

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