Senator Linda Reynolds has admitted lying under oath when she gave evidence at the Bruce Lehrmann rape trial which when put together with part of the ACT Inquiry Report raises the real possibility that Bruce Lehrmann might have been found guilty if Senator Reynolds had not perjured herself.
Walter Sofronoff found Shane Drumgold had “improperly questioned Reynolds on the stand” but given Reynolds’ perjury it justifies Shane Drumgold’s cross examination of Reynolds. In fact, Senator Linda Reynolds perjury shows political interference in the case that Walter Sofronoff said didn’t exist.
That means Brittany Higgins could have been denied justice because of Senator Linda Reynolds’ perjury because it might have influenced the jury’s view regarding Brittany Higgins credibility. As it turns out ACT Inquiry Chairperson Walter Sofronoff deals with the exact situation in his report which I have published the extract below.
The bottom line is that Linda Reynolds gave evidence under oath that she never knew anything about the alleged rape, on the 23 of March 2019, until after a meeting with Brittany Higgins, on the 1st of April 2019.
Linda Reynolds has now confirmed she knew before the meeting on the 1st of April that Brittany Higgins had complained that Bruce Lehrmann was on top of her which not only contradicts her evidence at the trial on that key issue but also points to further perjury by Reynolds.
Linda Reynolds was quick to issue a statement via her Lawyers and the Liberal Party’s propaganda arm, News Corp, admitting to the lie (15/8/23) but only after proof of Reynolds perjury was published on Twitter by Glen Schaefer who has been researching the issue. (Click here to see the Twitter thread outlining the evidence)
News Corp reported:
Former Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has recanted her Supreme Court evidence that she was never told by a chief of staff that Brittany Higgins had disclosed “I remember him on top of me”.
In a statement to news.com.au, Senator Reynolds has revealed for the first time that she now accepts that her chief of staff Fiona Brown’s evidence at the trial was correct and she did inform her of the alarming comment before meeting with the young staffer.
The revelation emerged after Senator Reynolds appeared to change her evidence on the Spotlight program, a fact that went unremarked during the television special.
“Since the trial, Senator Reynolds has had the opportunity to discuss the matter with Ms Brown, which has prompted our client’s recall of further information,” Senator Reynolds’ legal firm Bennett said in a statement. (Click here to read more)
The News Corp article, by Murdoch propagandist Samantha Maiden, reads like it was approved by Linda Reynolds lawyers as their rebuttals and lies on key points are right throughout the article. There is no reason why Linda Reynolds could not have answered the questions directly herself unless she wanted legal protection.
Glen Schaefer published his thread with the evidence on Twitter at about 6pm on Tuesday the 15th of August and Samantha Maiden published her article at 7.44pm on the same day and updated it at 9.22pm.
I think there is a very good chance the News Corp article would not have been published but Glen Schaefer forced their hand by publishing his thread on Twitter, so News Corp published Linda Reynolds’ legal statement written by her lawyers.
Why would a politician with nothing to hide be spending money on lawyers to respond to questions from a journalist?
ACT Inquiry Report findings on Linda Reynolds evidence v Brittany Higgins and the impact on the jury
As someone said on Twitter, “Walter Sofronoff got a lot wrong in his Report but he got the below part right” where conflicting evidence can impact on the jury’s decision.
Below is from pages 132 and 133 of the ACT Inquiry report
5.3.2 Senator Linda Reynolds
570. In March 2019, Senator Linda Reynolds CSC was the Minister for Defence Industry in the Australian Government. Ms Higgins was working for Senator Reynolds as an administration and media assistant.
571. On 1 April 2019, Ms Higgins met with Senator Reynolds and her Chief of Staff, Fiona Brown. During the meeting, the group discussed the entry into Senator Reynolds’ office in the early hours of 23 March 2019 by Ms Higgins and Mr Lehrmann. Ms Higgins gave evidence at the trial that, at this meeting, she told Senator Reynolds that Mr Lehrmann had sexually assaulted her. Senator Reynolds’ evidence was that Ms Higgins did not reveal that anything sexual had happened between herself and Mr Lehrmann.
572. A complainant’s disclosures about an alleged sexual offence to other people is evidence that a jury may use to assess the credit of the complainant. It may assist a jury to conclude that the complainant is trustworthy if it demonstrates a consistency in the complainant’s account of the commission of the offence. Any inconsistency may have the opposite effect.
For this reason, Senator Reynolds was a material witness in any fair presentation of the case by the prosecution at trial. If a jury considered her evidence to be credible, it could damage Ms Higgins’ credibility since it contradicted her account about what was disclosed about the allegation on 1 April 2019. (Click here for the full ACT Inquiry Report)
When a person is exposed for perjury once in a court case it raises questions about the creditability of all their evidence
What we know now is that Linda Reynolds lied under oath, about knowing that Brittany Higgins had complained to Fiona Brown about Bruce Lehrmann being on top of her, before the 1st of April 2019 meeting with Brittany Higgins.
As per the above extract from the ACT Inquiry report, regarding the 1st of April meeting, it looks like Linda Reynolds perjured herself regarding what was said at the 1st of April meeting as well: “Ms Higgins gave evidence at the trial that, at this meeting, she told Senator Reynolds that Mr Lehrmann had sexually assaulted her. Senator Reynolds’ evidence was that Ms Higgins did not reveal that anything sexual had happened between herself and Mr Lehrmann.”
Linda Reynolds now admits she already knew before the 1st of April meeting with Brittany Higgins and Fiona Brown, about the complaint that Bruce Lehrmann was on top of Higgins, so one would expect that it would have been discussed at the 1st of April meeting. And if it wasn’t discussed why didn’t Linda Reynolds raise the issue at the meeting? The only reasonable conclusion is that Senator Linda Reynolds was also lying under oath regarding this issue as well which is a second perjury offence.
What motivated Linda Reynolds to commit the criminal offence of perjury?
One of Brittany Higgins’ major complaints about her treatment was that Linda Reynolds had their meeting with her on the 1st of April 2019 in Linda Reynolds office which is where the alleged rape took place which makes Linda Reynolds look heartless.
So, maybe Reynolds decided to perjure herself and say she knew nothing before the meeting about the alleged rape and that Brittany Higgins didn’t raise the alleged rape at the meeting to cover herself regarding that issue so she couldn’t be accused of being heartless.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what motivated Linda Reynolds to commit perjury. Reynolds plan was clear, she committed perjury trying to improve her creditability and undermine Brittany Higgins’ creditability in the eyes of the jury to influence the outcome of the court case.
Reynolds made no attempt to correct the record of her perjured evidence until forced to when it was exposed on Twitter.
Update 21/8/23: I published the below video on YouTube:
Other evidence that points to Linda Reynolds planning to commit perjury that supports the perjury allegations above
Linda Reynolds “texted defence barrister, Steven Whybrow, while Higgins was in the witness box, seeking transcripts of her evidence in the trial before Reynolds gave evidence.” There is only one plausible reason why Reynolds would want the transcript of Brittany Higgins’ evidence and that is because Reynolds planned to tailor her answers (commit perjury), when she gave evidence later in the trial, to undermine Brittany Higgins’ credibility with the jury.
Linda Reynolds also had her partner fly from Perth to Canberra to watch Brittney Higgins give evidence and once again the only plausible reason would be so Reynolds partner could tell her what evidence Brittany Higgins gave so Reynolds could tailor her evidence (commit perjury) to undermine Brittany Higgins’ credibility with the jury.
Linda Reynolds also texted Lehrmann’s barrister Steve Whybrow and “suggested to Whybrow that texts between Higgins and another former Reynolds staffer, Nicole Hamer, may be “revealing” to the defence.” which was a blatant attempt to coach Lehrmann’s barrister. That points to Reynolds being heavily invested in the outcome of the court case and shows political interference given Reynolds in a Senator.
Did Linda Reynolds’ perjury help Bruce Lehrmann escape conviction?
As Walter Sofronoff says in the ACT Inquiry report above “For this reason, Senator Reynolds was a material witness in any fair presentation of the case by the prosecution at trial. If a jury considered her evidence to be credible, it could damage Ms Higgins’ credibility since it contradicted her account about what was disclosed about the allegation on 1 April 2019.”
Did Linda Reynolds perjury swing the jury enough so they could not reach a unanimous verdict? And if Linda Reynolds had not perjured herself would that have meant the jury would have convicted Bruce Lehrmann?
If Linda Reynolds had not committed perjury at the trial it would almost certainly have changed prosecutor Shane Drumgold’s cross examination of Reynolds which I have no doubt would have revealed a lot more of the political cover-up at the very least.
Given all the facts above there is a powerful prima facie case to charge Senator Linda Reynolds with at least 2 counts of perjury.
Linda Reynolds is currently suing Brittany Higgins and her partner David Sharaz in separate proceedings for defamation and without a doubt Linda Reynolds’ perjury at the Bruce Lehrmann trial will be raised in the defamation cases as it goes to Linda Reynolds credibility as a witness.
Walter Sofronoff’s ACT Inquiry Report is looking dodgier by the day after it defended perjurers like Linda Reynolds and I think for all the crooks involved in this matter what they really need to worry about is what will Shane Drumgold’s next move be given he was forced to resigned after being stitched up by Sofronoff.
If Shane Drumgold decides agitate the issue in the courts he now has a lot of legal ammunition to work with thanks to Linda Reynolds, Walter Sofronoff and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
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Categories: Australian Federal Police