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Secret Bruce Lehrmann hearing scheduled for December

Bruce Lehrmann has settled his defamation case against News Corp and journalist Samantha Maiden.

Bruce Lehrmann has settled his defamation case against News Corp and journalist Samantha Maiden. Photo: AAP

A surprise hearing into Bruce Lehrmann’s retrial on a sexual assault charge will be held behind closed doors in the ACT Supreme Court in December.

The news was first reported by News Corp on Thursday. The Supreme Court later confirmed the private hearing to The New Daily.

“The court will be hearing an application in proceeding in this matter on 2 December 2022,” an associate to Chief Justice McCallum said.

The Supreme Court also shared non-publication orders made “in respect of the application”.

  1. Pursuant to s 111(2) of the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, forbid publication of the content of the application in proceeding filed on 22 November 2022 and publication of the evidence intended to be given in support of the application;
  2. Direct pursuant to s 111(4) of the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, that everyone except court officers, legal representatives and the parties remain outside the courtroom for the hearing of the application in proceeding filed on 22 November 2022.

This means no details of the mystery hearing on December 2 can be published. Nor can any evidence supporting the application.

No one other than court officers, legal representatives or parties involved will be allowed in the room. No media will be allowed inside.

Lehrmann trial jury discharged

What is happening with the Lehrmann trial?

Brittany Higgins accused Mr Lehrmann of raping her inside the office of former industry defence minister, Linda Reynolds.

He and Ms Higgins were both Liberal staffers at the time of the alleged incident.

Mr Lehrmann denies any such interaction, and has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of sexual intercourse without consent.

His first trial in the ACT Supreme Court was derailed after it was discovered a juror conducted independent research regarding the case.

This was despite the jurors being repeatedly warned not to conduct any outside research into the trial they were meant to deliberate on.

The actions of the lone juror resulted in a mistrial. A date for a new trial has been set for February 2023.

The ACT’s top prosecutor, Shane Drumgold, confirmed his intent to pursue the matter next year.

“I confirm that we have made the decision that the retrial of DPP v Lehrmann will commence 20 February 2023,” he said in a statement.

-with AAP

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