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A group of Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers have initiated a defamation lawsuit against Shane Drumgold, an official in the ACT government, following his involvement in the Bruce Lehrmann prosecution case. The legal action was triggered by Drumgold’s allegations of potential interference in the legal process during the prosecution of former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins.

Drumgold, who serves as the Director of Public Prosecutions, raised concerns about undue pressure to avoid prosecuting Lehrmann and suspected interference in the criminal justice system. The trial of Lehrmann came to a halt due to juror misconduct, with a federal court judge ultimately finding it more likely than not that Lehrmann had committed the alleged rape on Minister Linda Reynold’s couch at Parliament House in 2019.

These allegations prompted a thorough investigation led by former judge Walter Sofronoff KC, who concluded that Drumgold’s claims lacked substantial evidence to support serious accusations of impropriety detailed in his letter. Despite Drumgold challenging the inquiry’s findings in the ACT Supreme Court, only partial success was achieved in overturning some of Sofronoff’s conclusions.

In a settlement agreement, Reynolds retracted the defamatory allegations contained in Drumgold’s letter and issued a sincere apology for any harm inflicted. This development underscores the complexity and challenges faced in high-profile legal cases involving allegations of interference and misconduct within the justice system.


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Article Title: AFP officers launch defamation case against ACT after complaint over Bruce Lehrmann’s criminal trial
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