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Bruce Lehrmann: What does Network Ten's successful bid to reopen Bruce ...

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Published Time: 02.04.2024 - 18:00:38 Modified Time: 02.04.2024 - 18:00:38

So, what is the fresh evidence? And how could it affect the timeline of the case? Bruce Lehrmann


So, what is the fresh evidence? And how could it affect the timeline of the case?

The defamation trial late last year ran for five weeks, and heard from several witnesses, including Mr Lehrmann, Ms Higgins, Ms Wilkinson and other Network Ten staff, and other witnesses who told the court Ms Higgins disclosed her allegation to them.

Now, the network wants to call former Seven Network producer Taylor Auerbach, who worked on the network's Spotlight program.

Mr Lehrmann gave one interview to the program, which ran in June last year, and then a second which aired after the release of findings from an inquiry into the prosecution of his case.

The court heard Mr Auerbach will testify that Mr Lehrmann provided the program with material that was in an electronic brief of evidence in his criminal trial, but was not tendered in court.

It included a five-hour audio recording of a meeting between Ms Higgins, her now-fiance David Sharaz, Ms Wilkinson, and senior Network Ten producer Angus Llewellyn.

The court has heard the program was also provided with messages between Ms Higgins and her former partner, Ben Dillaway — though this was not used in the program.

Mr Lehrmann has always denied he was the source of the material. His lawyers have flagged they will also seek to cross-examine Mr Auerbach.

The Seven Network will also be called on to produce some relevant documents, and may be quizzed if it tells the court it has nothing to produce.

Ten's barrister Matthew Collins told the court Mr Auerbach's evidence was relevant to Mr Lehrmann's credit.

Under cross-examination during the trial, the former Liberal staffer said he only gave an interview for the Spotlight program, and did not provide any other material.

Network Ten will seek to prove that was a falsehood.

But Justice Michael Lee has already said he believes both the critical witnesses in the case — Mr Lehrmann and Ms Higgins — have credibility issues. 

It may also be relevant to the question of what damages Mr Lehrmann is entitled to, if the court finds he was defamed.

The judgment was originally set down for Thursday, but that date will now instead be used for the case to reopen.

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