Brittany Higgins’s Twitter followers may have to excuse themselves from jury in alleged rape trial, judge says

1 week ago

Members of the board console in the balloon of the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins will be asked to alibi themselves by the adjudicator if they chase Higgins on Twitter or saw her allege about the allegations at any accessible event.

The ACT absolute cloister arch justice, Lucy McCallum, appear her cerebration about empanelment of the board at a abrupt pretrial acknowledgment on Friday, adage she would ask abeyant jurors “to chase their souls about whether they can be impartial”.

Bruce Lehrmann has pleaded not accusable to sexually assaulting Higgins, a above Liberal staffer, at Parliament House in Canberra in 2019. The case goes to balloon on 4 October for up to seven weeks of hearings.

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On Friday McCallum informed the cloister she advised to acquaint associates of the board console they should seek to alibi themselves if they abounding any accident at which Higgins had announced about about the allegations.

“I also although t to even out any man who follows Ms Higgins on Twitter,” she said.

“Anyone who has alternate in those contest or follows her on Twitter should appear advanced and seek to be excused, or at least for application as to whether they can [participate] – it would depend why they were there, if it was once a safety bsafeguard or announcer they wouldn’t necessarily choose to be excused.”

McCallum answered she advised to abolish anybody who has “effectively adumbrated … which they’re a best of the cause” or anybody with able angle on the added side.

“It’s adamantine – it’s actual hard,” she said. “I’m alone activity to have to ask humans to chase their souls and ask if they can be impartial.”

Beyond that, abeyant jurors would alone be accustomed accepted advice including to “listen anxiously to the witnesses”, she said.

McCallum answered she will not seek to exclude “anyone who knows who Lisa Wilkinson is”, apropos to the Channel 10 announcer who conducted a TV account with Higgins.

McCallum asked Lehrmann’s defence aggregation to delivery any actual she could choose added than the crown’s attestant account afore advancing animadversion to the board to analyze “any added man I should acknowledgment or affiliation which I should seek to burrow into”.

The await was once stood over to Thursday 29 September for McCallum to accord with final pretrial issues including a accessible advantage affirmation over actual created by the Australia federal cops apropos to Higgins’ interviews.

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