A reward of $millions for a fantasy

Brittany Higgins's rape claim went to trial but was not substantiated, so nobody owes her anything. Even the police thought there were no grounds for the prosecution. The payment was a victory for PR, not justice. It was pursued by feckless prosecutor Shane Drumgold only because of political pressure

That a person who has been hospitalized on mental health grounds could be a reliable witness is a derisory idea. The man she defamed in her delusions was hugely stressed by the prospect of a long and undeserved jail term but he survived mentally with only the usual supports - family etc.

“At a mediation held today, the Commonwealth and Ms Higgins settled her claims,” Blumers Lawyers said in a statement.

“At the request of Ms Higgins, the parties have agreed that the terms of the settlement are confidential.”

Higgins had alleged she was raped by former colleague Bruce Lehrmann, but the case was aborted in October after jury misconduct.

A second trial scheduled for early next year was also scrapped because of concerns over Higgins’ mental health.

Lehrmann has always maintained his innocence and will no longer face any charges.

Two former Liberal ministers Linda Reynolds and Michaelia Cash had also been named in the documents.

This masthead revealed on Sunday that Higgins was seeking more than $3 million in compensation: $2.5 million for future economic loss, past economic loss approaching $100,000, general damages of $100,000, future assistance with domestic duties of some $200,000, and past and future out-of-pocket expenses of a further $150,000 approximately.

Blumers Lawyers did not disclose the final settlement figure in the statement released late on Monday night.

The decision by the Commonwealth to settle the case comes as ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr prepares to order a formal inquiry into the trial of Lehrmann after an extraordinary war of words erupted between the territory’s director of public prosecutions and police.

Barr said ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury and the Director-General of the Justice and Community Safety Directorate briefed cabinet on Monday afternoon “regarding the issues raised by the actions of authorities involved in the Lehrmann trial”.


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