Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyers will seek a permanent stay of the prosecution against him for the alleged sexual assault of Brittany Higgins.
At an ACT Supreme Court hearing on Wednesday Lehrmann’s counsel, デビッドキャンベル, confirmed he had instructions to seek a stay – permanent or temporary – of the trial, scheduled for 6 六月. Campbell cited publicity around allegations which he will argue makes it impossible for his client to receive a fair trial.
Lehrmann denies the alleged assault and is pleading not guilty.
Campbell also said he will write to media companies by Friday asking them to voluntarily remove allegedly prejudicial articles within the next week.
If they are not removed, Lehrmann will seek an order from the court forcing media companies to take them down, as well as an order preventing future publications regarding the allegation.
Chief justice Lucy McCallum listed the stay application for a hearing on 1 4月.
The ACT director of public prosecutions, Shane Drumgold, asked the court to consider an order suppressing the names of witnesses and parties, arguing that reporting of the stay application itself may add to publicity about the case which “becomes the problem”.
“It appears the concern is the story becomes the story,” Drumgold told the court, suggesting that ordering non-publication of names would “stop the issue growing from today”. Further reporting “increases the prejudice to a fair trial”, Drumgold argued.
Campbell countered that the “mere foreshadowing of application” would not add to the alleged prejudice.
Chief justice McCallum agreed, telling the court she was “not persuaded” to issue such an order on Wednesday, but would reconsider on 1 April when details of the stay application are ventilated.
McCallum warned this was “not a free licence to the press to publish whatever may interest the public” about the case.
McCallum warned those interested in the proceedings that the more the allegations were ventilated in public forums, the “more likely the accused will not be able to receive a fair trial”, これ, if established, could result in a stay of the prosecution.