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Brittany Higgins will give evidence in Bruce Lehrmann rape trial

The six-hour tape of Brittany Higgins being interviewed for Channel 10’s The Project will not be used during the upcoming Bruce Lehrmann rape trial.

Defence lawyers representing Bruce Lehrmann faced the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday morning for a pre-trial mention as they prepare for the seven-week proceeding, set to begin on October 4.

Mr Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Ms Higgins inside Parliament House in 2019.

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Camera IconFormer Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins will give evidence in her upcoming rape trial. NCA Newswire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Crown prosecutor Shane Drumgold told the court six hours of raw footage from Ms Higgins’ interview with Channel 10’s The Project is not going to be used in the trial.

He said there was no legal basis for showing the recordings.

However, Mr Drumgold told the court a journalist from the show will be called to give evidence as part of the prosecution’s case.

Mr Drumgold revealed Ms Higgins is also set to take the stand, while the jury will be shown a range of CCTV from Parliament House and a record of conversation with the accused.

“For additional evidence in chief and cross examination, she wants to be in the courtroom,” the prosecutor said.

It comes as fights continue between legal parties over a crucial timeline the former liberal staffer provided to police.

Arguments continued over the timeline Ms Higgins provided to police, with Mr Lehrmann’s lawyers seeking the document which outlines her version of events from 2019.

Bruce Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Ms Higgins inside Parliament House in 2019.
Camera IconBruce Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Ms Higgins inside Parliament House in 2019. Credit: Supplied

A representative from the Australian Federal Police told the court he is currently assessing documents for legal professional privilege.

He said the AFP would provide the documents to the court by Friday.

In an earlier court mention, Andrew Berger KC said when the defence first made the request for the document, the DPP denied it due to legal professional privilege.

The refusal resulted in the defence issuing a subpoena with the court.

During the mention, Justice Lucy McCallum ordered the defence and a barrister appointed by the DPP to discuss what material from a 56,000-page Cellebrite report into data from Ms Higgins’ phone could be considered disclosable.

She told the court she had concerns the defence could be “chasing” cross-examination “rabbits”, and if that was the case, it would be a “very long trial”.

“My primary function is to ensure Mr Lehrmann and the Crown have a fair trial. But secondarily, I’m not going to let cross-examination go uphill and down dale for weeks and weeks,” Ms McCallum said.

Steven Whybrow, appearing for Mr Lehrmann, said it was not his intention “to be here forever”.

The matter will return to court on Friday.

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