Lawyers review footage after Lehrmann broadcast

Police are demanding the urgent release of a leaked report into the Brittany Higgins rape case.

Police are demanding the urgent release of a leaked report into the Brittany Higgins rape case. Photo: AAP

Raw footage from a broadcast featuring Bruce Lehrmann denying having any sexual contact with Brittany Higgins, whom he was accused of raping is being reviewed by lawyers defending a defamation claim from the former political staffer.

Ms Higgins alleged Mr Lehrmann raped her inside the parliament house office of then coalition defence industry minister Linda Reynolds, their boss, in 2019.

The allegation became public in the media in February 2021.

Mr Lehrmann appeared on Seven Network’s Spotlight program in June saying it “simply never happened”.

Network Ten has been sued over a broadcast on The Project with Lisa Wilkinson, who is also named as a respondent.

Mr Lehrmann is also suing the ABC for defamation over a National Press Club broadcast featuring a joint speech by Ms Higgins and former Australian of the year Grace Tame in February 2021.

Barrister Tim Senior, acting for Ten and the ABC, told the Federal Court on Monday subpoenaed raw footage was being inspected.

Some sought information was not able to be produced, Mr Senior said, but he was satisfied it had been searched for and was not available, potentially automatically overwritten.

Two tranches of raw footage had been supplied and were being reviewed.

The subpoena against Seven has been stood over to the next case management hearing on August 28 to provide time for the footage to be inspected and ensure it complies.

Concerns had earlier been raised about CCTV footage from inside parliament house being aired on the program, which had not been provided by the Department of Parliamentary Services in response to a subpoena.

The department provided a USB stick on Monday.

“The material that’s been produced today in response to the latest subpoena is the material that would have been broadcast,” Mr Senior said.

Other subpoenas received responses from ABC’s 7.30 chief political correspondent Laura Tingle, with two documents handed up, including one with redactions relating to confidential commercial matters of the National Press Club, of which she is president.

Justice Michael Lee returned the redacted version.

Documents were also provided from Penguin Random House in relation to a book deal with Ms Higgins.

Mr Lehrmann’s trial in the ACT Supreme Court was derailed by juror misconduct and prosecutors did not seek a second trial due to concerns over Ms Higgins’ mental health.

The ACT justice system’s response to the allegations is also subject to an inquiry with a report expected this month.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

Lifeline 131 114

beyondblue 1300 224 636


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