The former lawyer for the deceased woman whose allegation of rape has been denied by Attorney-General Christian Porter has called for an inquiry into the matter.
- Christian Porter confirmed he knew the woman as a teenager but said the alleged incident “simply did not happen”
- The woman took her own life last year and her death may be subject to a coronial inquest
- Some are calling for a separate inquiry into the alleged incident
Mr Porter said on Wednesday that he didn’t see what such an inquiry would achieve because he would have to disprove the claims of the woman.
But Michael Bradley from Marque lawyers said he wouldn’t have to disprove anything.
“There’s nothing particularly unusual about such a process, to inquire into and make a determination on a serious allegation against a person in a position of responsibility,” he told PM.
“That literally happens every day of the week.”
Lawyer Michael Bradley says it’s not unusual to make a determination on a serious allegation against a person in a position of responsibility.
He said the “key issue” was whether Mr Porter could continue to be Attorney-General.
Sexual assault support services:
“The question for the Prime Minister is, is it OK to proceed with business as usual and take the case as closed, purely on the basis that Mr Porter says it didn’t happen?
“Or do we need to properly test and address the allegation to put it to bed fully, one way or the other, so that we can all move on?”
Mr Porter is alleged in an anonymous letter to have sexually assaulted a woman when he was 17.
He insisted at a media conference today it did not happen and he said he would not stand down from his position.
Read the full press conference transcript
Attorney-General Christian Porter strenuously denied that he raped a woman in 1988.
The Attorney-General said it was a matter for others whether there should be an inquiry or not.
“I don’t know what it would achieve, other people will be the judge of this, but it would be the first time in Australian history that a public figure or anyone effectively is put on trial in circumstances where they would be required to disprove something that didn’t happen 33 years ago,” he said.
“If that happened to me, all I can say is what I’ve said to you today, that it just didn’t happen.”
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said an independent inquiry was still needed.
“An independent review, an inquiry is the only way a Prime Minister could properly inform himself as to whether the men that sit around his Cabinet table are fit to be there,” she said.
SA Police has been given extra assistance from the Coroner to continue its investigation into the woman’s death.
A statement from State Coroner David Whittle said: “The investigation is continuing and once that investigation has been completed to my satisfaction, I shall determine whether to hold an inquest.”
Christian Porter says he will not stand down as Attorney-General