Attorney-General Christian Porter

Alleged rapist Christian Porter’s defamation case against the ABC is in crisis as his lawyers try to hide evidence so the public do not know the truth

A federal court statement to the media says Christian Porter’s lawyers are in negotiations with the ABC lawyers to suppress the ABC’s defence and evidence but the reality is it is almost certainly settlement negotiations as the game would be up and Porter and his lawyers would know it. 

The ABC had until the 4th of May to file their defence which they did at 8.50 PM. The next day it became obvious legal games were being played out when the court’s online file showed that Porter’s lawyers had filed a reply 2 hours and 16 minutes, after the ABC filed their defence, at 11.06 PM even though Porter had until the 14th of May to file a reply as per below:

It was a clear pointer that Porter and his lawyers are very worried about what is in the ABC’s defence and they acted immediately. I waited for the Federal Court to upload the ABC’s defence, which they do for matters in the public interest, or for other media to report on it but nothing happened so I emailed the Federal Court’s media contact who responded:

“the Court has been informed that there are discussions between the parties concerning the publication of the defence and reply. Justice Jagot proposes to allow the parties a reasonable opportunity to complete these discussions before the uploading of the documents to the online file.”

Publishing Porter’s reply is nothing and the real issue is publishing the ABC’s defence and the ABC wouldn’t care. It was predicted by many, myself included, that when the matter got to this stage Porter would be in a lot of trouble and I wrote an article about it on the 16th of March titled “Alleged rapist Christian Porter copies failed strategy of alleged paedophile Alan Jones by instituting frivolous defamation proceedings”. (Click here to read more) This matter is almost identical to when Alan Jones sued the SBS last year. Jones settled the day before Christmas with no apology or payment after the SBS filed a truth defence and subpoenaed documents from Jones which rattled Jones and forced him to settle for nothing.

I emailed Porter and his lawyers some questions today as per the below email:

From: SHANE DOWLING
Sent: Wednesday, 5 May 2021 2:45 PM
To: Christian.Porter.MP@aph.gov.au; rebekah@companygiles.com.au
Cc: sue@chrysanthou.com.au; Maggie.dalton@stjames.net.au; Richard Keegan <richard.keegan@addisons.com>; Kieran Smark <smark@smark.com.au>; justine.munsie@addisons.com; sandy.dawson@banco.net.au; Monique Cowden <mcowden@level22.com.au>; Martin O’Connor <Martin.OConnor@addisons.com>
Subject: New media questions regarding the ABC defamation matter

Dear Christian Porter and Rebekah Giles

The Federal Court issued a statement today which said “the Court has been informed that there are discussions between the parties concerning the publication of the defence and reply. Justice Jagot proposes to allow the parties a reasonable opportunity to complete these discussions before the uploading of the documents to the online file.”

I have a few questions for an article I will be publishing:

  1. Can you advise why Christian Porter wants the ABC’s defence suppressed from the public? What is he trying to hide?
  2. Are there further allegations in the ABC’s defence that Christian Porter has sexually assaulted and/or raped other women, other than the alleged rape of Katharine Thornton, as implied in a Tweet by Louise Milligan which is in Mr Porter’s evidence filed with the court in this matter?
  3. At the press conference in Perth on the 3-3-21 a journalist asked Christian Porter about other alleged sexual assaults by Mr Porter that were settled with numerous women with non-disclosure agreements attached. Mr Porter denied it was true. Can you confirm or deny if the ABC’s defence mentioned or referred to the settlements with other women for alleged sexual assault by Mr Porter?

Please respond by 6pm today so I can publish.

Regards

Shane Dowling

Porter and his lawyers didn’t respond to the above email so maybe other women have come forward to give evidence. Other issues that I could have also asked about in the email are whether the ABC filed as evidence the police statement made in March 2021 by James Hooke who is the ex-boyfriend of Porter’s alleged victim Katharine Thornton. The SMH reported:

In the public statement, Mr Hooke said he had “clear recollections” of speaking to the woman about the allegation in the 1980s. “I also have what I consider to be clear recollections of relevant discussions I had with Christian Porter from April 1992 and through the mid-1990s,” he said. (Click here to read more)

I could have also asked Porter if the ABC filed the photographic/video evidence of Christian Porter kissing a junior staffer at a Canberra Bar which was reported last year on the ABC’s Four Corners program.

If the ABC filed just one of the issues as evidence which I raised above in the email or James Hooke’s police statement or the video/picture at the Canberra Bar, then Porter is in a lot of trouble. So, imagine if the ABC has filed 2 or 3 or 4 of the issues I raised above as evidence then imagine how much trouble Porter would be in and then you will realise how desperate Porter and his lawyers are to stop the ABC’s evidence from being made public.

If the ABC hold the line and refuse to have any of their defence suppressed, then Porter’s last chance would be to ask Justice Jayne Jagot to put a suppression order on it which would scandalise the court as there is no justification to do so and given Porter was recently the Attorney-General which made him Justice Jagot’s boss which would mean there is perceived bias if not real bias.

Update Thursday 5pm 6/5/21: As predicted Christian Porter has filed a Notice of Motion to have part of the ABC’s defence suppressed. (Click here to see the Notice of Motion) The Notice of Motion has not been heard yet.

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18 replies »

  1. Excellent article. It leads me to think that not only Porter but Morrison has an interest in suppressing this sex scandal.

    Apparently, the odds are shortening for an election this year, and if this popped up again in the media in the middle of Morrison’s election campaign, it would not be pretty.

  2. FYI. Ita Buttrose was speaking at the National Press Club yesterday speaking about Macular Disease. During the question time a reporter from the Guardian Aust.(Paul Karp) asked about the ABC charter and that they are supposed to avoid litigation and whether they should be settling this case. Ita cut him down by saying that the case is before the courts and no ABC representative is speaking about the case including her. I got the feeling that there was something going on just by her mannerisms and that the ABC may have an ace or two up their sleeves.
    Maybe I am wrong, dumb and naive but I had watched that before seeing your column. What do you think?

  3. How long can alleged rapist Christian Porter’s legal team drag this out and suppress the ABC commenting on this matter? I’m sure they wouldn’t like this being discussed around election time.

  4. It has been reported that the reason Christian Porter wants to suppress parts (one paragraph and three schedules) of the ABC’s defence is because some of the evidence to be led by the ABC is “scandalous or vexatious and an abuse of process”. Something does not sound quite right here. Porter is suing the ABC for defamation. If he wins, he would be awarded substantial pecuniary damages. I would have thought, therefore, Porter would welcome the evidence he is now seeking to suppress, as such evidence would only serve to increase his payout substantially. If Christian Porter is innocent of the allegations made against him, why is he so keen to limit the potential damages awarded in his favour? This does not add up.

    • The damages he is seeking are not pecuniary damages he is seeking aggravated damages amongst others. In a statement of defense against a statement of claim, only the facts as the party sees them are included, not evidence to the facts. So, Porter’s team is arguing that the facts are scandalous or vexatious and an abuse of process because there can be no evidence to support them and as such are scandalous or vexatious and an abuse of process. So, there is no scandalous or vexatious and an abuse of process in terms of evidence, but rather facts. A statement of claim can only contain the facts as the plaintiff see them and visa versa….at this stage it is not about evidence at all.

  5. It would be quite safe to assume that the ABC’s defence document would be entirely factual and well researched. Thus, we could reasonably expect it to form an upcoming 4 Corners episode.

    That WILL be amusing viewing.

    • If you are interested in the defences, then you should look up the Civil Liability Act 2005, look under defences and read the statutes on them and get some idea what defenses will be used; they can use more than one, how these statutes are applied to the facts of the case however, is where it gets complicated.

  6. The Reason for Listing shown above is descriptive…Since when is to be advised descriptive?”
    orders that might be made, at the hearing.

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