Mikalia Cash denies she knew about Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations while former staff members were working for her, saying covering it up was “political suicide.” Deaf told the court.
The former minister dialed the ACT Supreme Court on Monday to present evidence in Bruce Lehrman’s trial.
Lehrmann is accused of raping Higgins after drinking with colleagues in Linda Reynolds’ cabinet office.
He pleaded not guilty to having sex without her consent and to being reckless with her consent.
Senator Cash denied he was aware of the sexual assault until Higgins left office in early 2021.
Crown prosecutor Shane Drumgold put pressure on Senator Cash, suggesting that it would be “politically embarrassing” if the allegations were made public.
“I don’t understand the context of the question. I don’t understand how it could be politically embarrassing,” she told the court.
“Do you agree that it is politically harmful?” Mr. Drumgold replied.
“Absolutely not,” Senator Cash countered. “I don’t understand the political connection with this.”
She then agreed with Relam’s attorney, Steve Wibrow, suggesting that it was “political suicide” for her to cover up the alleged assault.
“So it’s a confusion with the previous set of questions,” Senator Cash replied.
Higgins previously told the court that he had several detailed conversations with the then minister about the case.
But Senator Cash said she understood her conversation with Higgins was related to a security breach, not an alleged rape.
“The first time I heard the word rape was when journalist Samantha Maiden asked the question on February 12, 2021.”
Allied colleague Senator Reynolds is scheduled to appear in court over the next two days.
The trial was originally scheduled to run for four to six weeks.
But last week, Mr Drumgold told the court that he plans to conclude the royal case on Tuesday.
That’s because the witness list has plummeted from over 50 to 32.
On Friday, Lehrmann’s attorney, Stephen Whybrow, pressed Higgins during an emotional cross-examination that there were discrepancies in her description of the night in question.
Ms. Higgins singled out the first alleged rapist in court, pricked her finger and said, “After you did it to me, nothing was wrong.”
Earlier that week, jurors heard Lerman’s testimony for the first time.
In it, he told police the incident “simply never happened.”
https://thewest.com.au/news/brittany-higgins-michaelia-cash-rejects-claims-she-knew-of-rape-allegation-while-ex-staffer-worked-for-her-c-8567560 Brittany Higgins: Michaela Cash denies claim that ex-staff knew of rape allegations while working for her