Linda Reynolds sues ACT government and former chief prosecutor | Australian Capital Territory #Linda #Reynolds #sues #ACT #government #chief #prosecutor #Australian #Capital #Territory

Liberal senator Linda Reynolds has launched another high-profile defamation action, this time against the ACT government and former chief prosecutor Shane Drumgold.

A writ lodged in the West Australian supreme court on Monday says Drumgold sent a letter accusing the senator of “disturbing conduct” during Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial.

The letter to the Australian federal police was widely reported by media allegedly causing Reynolds significant “loss and damage”, according to the document seen by AAP on Thursday.

The Guardian broke the story in late 2022, with an article headlined “Bruce Lehrmann trial: ACT’s top prosecutor complained about Linda Reynold’s disturbing conduct”.

It published parts of the letter to ACT Chief Police Officer, Neil Gaughan, following a freedom-of-information request after Lehrmann’s trial was abandoned.

Drumgold alleged Reynolds had “engaged in direct coaching of the defence cross-examination of the complainant”.

The senator is claiming aggravated damages with interest and seeking an injunction restraining Drumgold and the ACT government from republishing the material.

She is also suing former political staffer Brittany Higgins and her partner David Sharaz over a series of social media posts that she says have damaged her reputation.

Higgins alleged she was raped in 2019 by Lehrmann inside the ministerial office of Reynolds, where he also worked as a staffer.

The senator has accused Higgins of posting defamatory material on two occasions on her Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter) accounts.

Sharaz is being sued over tweets he made and a Facebook comment in 2022.

Among the defamatory imputations claimed against Sharaz’s tweets were that Reynolds put pressure on Higgins not to proceed with a genuine complaint to police; that she “is a hypocrite in her advocacy for women’s interests and empowerment”; and that she interfered in Lehrmann’s trial and bullied Higgins.

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Reynolds claims she was also defamed by Sharaz’s reply to a comment on her Facebook page that asked how she was still in politics after having “destroyed” Higgins.

The commenter added: “You’re a monster who deserves to be in jail.”

Sharaz responded: “Thanks for reminding her. I hope she hears this every day until she dies.”

Lehrmann consistently denied Higgins’s rape allegation, and his trial in the ACT supreme court was derailed by juror misconduct.

Prosecutors decided not to pursue further action, citing concerns of the impact it may have on Higgins’s mental health.

Lehrmann is suing Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson for defamation over a February 2021 report on The Project regarding Higgins’ allegation.

#Linda #Reynolds #sues #ACT #government #chief #prosecutor #Australian #Capital #Territory

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