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Brunei
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
22.8 C
Brunei
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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    Outrage as Oz rape case abruptly ends in mistrial

    SYDNEY (AFP) – A high-profile rape case that ignited protests across Australia abruptly ended yesterday in a mistrial, prompting outrage from the alleged victim who said she had been treated like she was the criminal.

    Brittany Higgins, 27, alleged that former conservative staffer Bruce Lehrmann, 27, raped her on a couch inside the parliamentary office of a government minister following a night in March 2019.

    Chief Justice Lucy McCallum declared a mistrial after a courtroom sheriff accidentally discovered a jury member with a copy of a document that was prohibited by the trial’s strict rules.

    Higgins sobbed as she spoke outside court following the mistrial, saying she had “told the truth, no matter how uncomfortable or unflattering to the court”.

    “I chose to speak up. To speak up and share my experiences with others,” she said.

    “He never faced one question in court about his story and the criminal charges.

    “I was required to surrender my telephones, my passwords, messages, photos and my data.”

    In a further twist, Lehrmann’s lawyers then referred Higgins’ comments to police, suggesting they could prejudice a planned retrial in February. Lehrmann has stridently maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty to one charge of sexual intercourse without consent.

    Bruce Lehrmann arrives at court for the start of his trial. PHOTO: RIQTACT
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