Update- June 22
The trial has been delayed due to Ms Wilkinson’s speech with Justice Lucy McCallum commenting that the recent publicity of the trial could have an affect on the outcome.
“Because of its immediacy, its intensity and its capacity to obliterate the important distinction between an allegation that remains untested at law. For those reasons, regrettably and with gritted teeth, I have concluded that the trial date of 27 June towards which the parties have been carefully steering must be vacated.”
The new start date of the trial is yet to be known.
The veteran journalist and TV presenter dedicated her Logie to Brittany Higgins at Sunday’s ceremony, however it could cause a hiccup in the activists legal case.
Lisa Wilkinson took home the silver Logie for Most Outstanding News Coverage or Public Affairs Report for her interview with Ms Higgins, which discussed how the former Liberal staffer was raped by her co-worker, Bruce Lehrmann in 2019.
However, Barrister for Mr Lehrmann, Steve Whybrow has requested that the trial be put on hold as the speech from Ms Wilkinson has garnered mass attention from the public.
Mr Whybrow claims that more than 800,000 internet searchers were made after Ms Wilkinson’s speech, while there was also notable attention on social media, radio and TV. He believes that the intense attention could affect the outcome and said that Mr Lehrmann isn’t in favour of delays “but he wants a fair trial”.
Chief Justice Lucy McCallum remarked in March that people should refrain from commenting on the case because it could be recognised as a contempt of court.
“If I could put it in blunter terms, the more people keep talking about this case the greater risk the prosecution will be stayed”.
Mr Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual intercourse without consent last year and is expected to appear in the ACT Supreme Court on June 27.
His case will be held before a jury trial, in line with ACT legislation and if found guilty can face up to 12 years in prison.
In her speech, Ms Wilkinson said that her award “belongs to Brittany”.
”It belongs to a woman who inspired more than a hundred thousand similarly pissed off, exhausted, fierce women – and men- to take to the streets right across this country to roar…in numbers too big to ignore.
“Brittany Higgins was a political problem. And governments tend to like political problems to go away. But Brittany never did.”
Ms Higgins’ latest comments on the legal matter came in April where she claimed that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had released video recordings and counselling notes to Mr Lehrmann and his legal team, “unlawfully”.