Lisa Wilkinson: Judge provides last verdict on Project presenter Logies speech and slams ‘ridiculous’ DPP Shane Drumgold

Shane Drumgold’s causes for not warning Lisa Wilkinson about her Logies speech have been “ridiculous,” an investigation has discovered.

That was simply one of many findings in Walter Sofronoff’s 839-page report, delivered Monday afternoon by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr — following an explosive month-long inquiry in May.

The public inquiry was held to analyze the conduct of police and prosecutors in Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial held within the ACT Supreme Court final October.

Brittany Higgins claimed he raped her in Parliament House in 2019 after they have been colleagues – which he strongly denies.

The first case was dropped as a consequence of a rogue juror, earlier than the fees have been dropped fully as a consequence of Ms. Higgins’ psychological well being.

In his report, Mr Sofronoff additionally stated that Mr Drumgold, the ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions, was ‘picky’ about who suggested, as on three events he assisted Brittany Higgins with issues that would have an effect on the trial. But he refused to do the identical for Wilkinson.

However, the presiding choose additionally stated that Wilkinson’s “45 years of experience” in journalism ought to have given her sufficient to know what might jeopardize a jury trial – including that she was clearly not missing in authorized recommendation.

Lisa Wilkinson is photographed throughout her Logies speech in June final 12 months. She gained for her interview with Brittany Higgins

Shane Drumgold was closely criticized in Walter Sofronoff’s report, which was handed over Monday

Mr Sofronoff referred to occasions when Mr Drumgold scrutinized a few of Ms Higgins’s speeches and checked them for phrases that would jeopardize the method – together with one she would give if she got an award in public.

“This was exactly what Mrs. Wilkinson wanted Mr. Drumgold to do,” Mr. Sofronoff stated.

“Nevertheless, to explain his failure, he later characterized Mrs. Wilkinson’s request as a request for legal advice.”

The chairman identified that Mr Drumgold ‘was no more Mrs Higgins’ advisor than Mrs Wilkinson’, as they have been each witnesses within the trial at that stage.

Mr Sofronoff’s feedback happened because of proof submitted for the Inquiry, regarding a heated phone dialog between Mr Drumgold and Channel 10 lawyer Marlia Saunders – 4 months after Wilkinson’s speech.

Marlia Saunders, the community’s legal professional, had urged him to publicly appropriate the broadly held perception that Wilkinson had informed her not to talk about Brittany Higgins’ allegations on the televised TV awards, however she did so anyway.

Mr. Lehrmann’s protection attorneys tried to file for everlasting residency, which means they wished to drop the case altogether, on the belief that Wilkinson’s televised speech might prejudice a jury towards Mr. Lehrmann.

However, the applying for residence was unsuccessful and momentary residence was granted – which means the method was moved from June to October 2022.

During the phone dialog with Mrs Saunders, 4 months after Wilkinson’s speech, Mr Drumgold referred to the rejected software for everlasting residence when he stated: ‘I am well aware that there is a verdict.’

“I cannot use my authority to bridge a gap that judgment cannot bridge.”

Wilkinson was closely criticized for her June 2022 Logies acceptance speech by which she appeared to facet with Ms Higgins (pictured collectively)

Bruce Lehrmann is pictured, left, exterior the ACT Supreme Court along with his legal professional Steven Whybrow, proper

In his findings, Mr Sofronoff stated it was ‘ridiculous’ for Mr Drumgold to make these feedback.

He stated the failure of Mr Lehrmann’s attorneys to get the case dismissed had nothing to do along with his “duty to prevent an act that threatened the trial” – the risk on this case was the Wilkinson speech.

However, the chairman additionally felt that Wilkinson is an skilled journalist who ought to have identified higher than to provide such a speech within the first place.

‘One might think that Mrs. Wilkinson herself should have appreciated the probable effect of her intended words. She was a very experienced broadcaster,” he said in the report.

“She also attended the meeting with a lawyer whose services were paid for by Mrs. Wilkinson’s personal employer, so she was not with out entry to authorized recommendation.”

“One might think that before a speech like Mrs Wilkinson’s is made, it would first be considered by many minds within Channel 10, including legal minds.”

He steered that Mr Drumgold, upon listening to the contents of Wilkinson’s speech, ought to have informed her “emphatically” to rewrite it and, had she not performed so, he ought to have informed the Chief Justice and requested for an order to to cease her.

Mr. Sofronoff discovered that he did none of these issues and “thereby allowed a threat to the trial to live.”

The findings ultimately led to Mr Drumgold’s resignation.

He has been on paid depart since May.

The ACT Chief Minister has berated retired Judge Walter Sofronoff (pictured) for ‘breach of his good faith towards me’ by releasing his Commission of Inquiry report

ACT Chief Minister strikes down Walter Sofronoff

The report was handed over to ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr on July 31, however he deliberate to not launch it for weeks – the contents of the report, nonetheless, have been revealed on Wednesday.

That compelled Mr Barr to launch the report on Monday – which he did simply earlier than holding a press convention by which he berated Mr Sofronoff for ‘breaching his good faith towards me’.

Mr Barr informed reporters he was ‘very clear’ with Mr Sofronoff that his report wouldn’t be redacted or suppressed in any manner.

“He violated his good faith towards me by releasing that report before he got it for whom he was legally intended,” he stated.

When requested if he want to see Mr Sofronoff charged, Mr Barr stated: ‘We are considering our options, as I have outlined’.

Mr Barr stated he had not obtained an apology from the retired choose.

“He has tried to give an explanation,” he added.


About two days previous to the TV Logie awards, and simply days after the unique begin date of the Bruce Lehrmann trial, Neville Drumgold had a Microsoft Teams assembly with Lisa Wilkinson and Channel 10 lawyer Marlia Saunders.

At the tip of the assembly, Wilkinson stated she had been nominated for a Logie award for her interview with Ms. Higgins.

Wilkinson informed Mr Drumgold that she didn’t assume she would win, however simply in case she had ready a speech – and commenced to learn it to him, earlier than he stopped her and stated ‘we’re not speechwriters’.

Wilkinson, her legal professional, and Skye Jerome, Mr. Drumgold’s junior counsel, all remembered studying a lot of the speech. The prosecutor solely remembered studying a number of strains.

Wilkinson gained the award and gave her speech, which was subsequently criticized for probably being contemptuous and biasing a jury towards Mr. Lehrmann. The crew of Mr. Lehrmann filed for a keep — to maneuver the trial, fearing that the speech would have a jury vote towards him.

At the time, the Chief Justice stated Wilkinson’s speech amounted to her saying she “believed” Ms Higgins’ allegations.

Mr Drumgold then informed the High Court {that a} file be aware he had written describing the discussions with Wilkinson and her lawyer was contemporaneous, which means he made it instantly after the assembly.

However, underneath cross-examination Mr Drumgold admitted that the be aware was not of the identical time.

During the investigation, it was found that the be aware was written 5 days after the assembly and three hours earlier than a listening to with all of the authorized groups concerned within the rape trial.

It was handed over to the Chief Justice, who then criticized Wilkinson for her Logies speech and moved the trial from June to October.

During cross-examination in the course of the investigation, Mr. Drumgold lastly admitted that he ought to have corrected the Chief Justice.

Mr. Sofronoff discovered that Mr. Drumgold had “knowingly lied to the Chief Justice.”

Mr Drumgold stated he would clear up the error, probably within the type of a public announcement, however he by no means did.

He didn’t reply to emails and cellphone calls from Ms Saunders, determined to clear Wilkinson’s identify, till they’d a heated phone dialog on October 24, 2022 – throughout which Mr Drumgold informed her he couldn’t present authorized recommendation.