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Australian court docket to listen to claims over alleged sexual assault in Parliament Home

Brisbane, Australia CNN  — 

A extremely anticipated sexual assault trial started in Australia Tuesday in a case that has raised questions concerning the tradition within the nation’s Parliament and the actions of ministers when the claims emerged.

Former Liberal Celebration staffer Bruce Lehrmann has pleaded not responsible to sexual activity with out consent referring to the alleged assault of his ex-coworker Brittany Higgins at Parliament Home in Canberra in March 2019.

The alleged assault was mentioned to have taken place within the former protection minister’s workplace, a location that prompted criticism and questions over safety ranges inside the nation’s political hub.

Witnesses are anticipated to incorporate politicians, safety officers and the journalists who broke the story in February 2021, when Higgins went public with the allegations.

ACT Supreme Courtroom Justice Lucy McCallum is presiding over the trial, which is anticipated to final 4 to 6 weeks earlier than a 12-member jury retires to ship its verdict.

The prosecution’s case is being led by the ACT’s director of public prosecutions, who should show past affordable doubt that Lehrmann acted with out consent. The cost of sexual activity with out consent carries a possible jail time period of as much as 12 years.

The trial had been repeatedly delayed, partly as a consequence of media commentary across the high-profile case that attracted important press consideration when Higgins got here ahead.

Higgins has since grow to be a distinguished advocate for ladies’s rights.

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