ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold has refuted claims made by the Home Affairs minister and the head of the Australian Federal Police regarding the Brittany Higgins case.
Drumgold received a brief of evidence relating to the alleged rape of Higgins, a former ministerial staffer, on June 21, along with a request to provide advice for consideration of prosecution.
Drumgold has this week told news.com.au that he gave his advice to the AFP one week later, on June 28, stating that ‘the matter currently rests with the AFP’.
The DPP’s confirmation has come one day after AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw was asked about the investigation at the National Press Club.
“I have been on the public record on this. It is a matter with the ACT DPP right now so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment any further,’’ he said on Wednesday.
Drumgold has described Kershaw’s suggestion as ‘wrong’. He has also contradicted comments made by Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews.
Asked about the case during an interview with 4BC on Wednesday, Andrews said:
“My understanding is that there has been a brief that has been put through to the DPP. So it is being looked at now and evaluated as to whether or not charges can be laid, which would take into consideration a range of factors including the likelihood of a conviction.”
The allegations that Higgins was sexually assaulted by a colleague in Parliament House in 2019 first emerged on February 15. Four other women have spoken out against Higgins’ alleged perpetrator since then.
Read more: DPP receives Brittany Higgins evidence