Claims cop 'begged' Brittany Higgins to stop doing media

Senior detective accuses Victims of Crime Commissioner of prioritising #MeToo movement over trial.

Claims cop 'begged' Brittany Higgins to stop doing media
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Detective Superintendent Scott Moller, one of the top-ranking officers investigating Brittany Higgins’ sexual assault case, has voiced concerns over alleged influence by the Victims of Crime Commissioner, Heidi Yates, on the investigation.

His concerns came to light through a confidential statement to the Sofronoff inquiry, which was later obtained by The Australian newspaper.

In his statement, Moller contends that Yates was more fixated on advancing the '#metoo' cause than on ensuring an unbiased trial for Higgins.

His recounting of a conversation in which he urged Higgins to avoid potentially trial-prejudicial media activities stands out.

In response, Yates reportedly said: "She can’t, Scott – she is the face of the movement now."

Moller expressed his disappointment, saying, "I remember being mad that the Victims of Crime Commissioner was using the investigation as a voice for reform before the trial had even been conducted."

In the same submission, Moller sheds light on the pressures he experienced, which he believes skewed the objective of law enforcement.

He challenged the notion that victims of sexual violence should automatically be believed, insisting that this contradicts the investigative role of the police force and the criminal justice system.

"We as police are the first ‘filter’ to ensuring the integrity of the criminal justice system. The judiciary and the community require and expect police to critically assess all available information and evidence in determining if the threshold to charge has been met,” Moller further stressed,.

The Sofronoff inquiry is currently scrutinising the conduct of several key figures involved in the Higgins' case, including Yates, Moller, the Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold, and the defendant, Bruce Lehrmann.

The inquiry will soon publish Moller’s statement, originally provided to The Australian newspaper.

Drumgold is currently on leave, at his request, following a tumultuous week of explosive testimony where he was accused of misleading the ACT Supreme Court by suggesting that his note pertaining to Lisa Wilkinson was written in real-time, and also withholding the so-called 'Moller report'.

The original trial was disrupted due to juror misconduct and didn't proceed to a second trial due to the DPP's concerns about potential risks to the complainant if she was to provide evidence again.

Ultimately, the sexual assault charge against Lehrmann was dismissed by the DPP.

 

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  • By Avi Yemini

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