The former lawyer for the deceased, whose allegation of rape was denied by Attorney General Christian Porter, called for an inquiry into the matter.
- Christian Porter confirmed that he knew the woman when he was a teenager, but said the alleged incident “just didn’t happen”
- The woman committed suicide last year and her death may be subject to a judicial inquiry
- Some are calling for a separate investigation into the alleged incident
Mr Porter said on Wednesday that he did not see what such an investigation would achieve because he would have to refute the woman’s claims.
But Michael Bradley, of Marque’s lawyers, said he wouldn’t have to contest anything.
“There is nothing particularly unusual in such a process, to investigate and make a determination on a serious allegation against a person in a position of responsibility,” he told PM.
“It happens literally every day of the week.”
He said the “key question” was whether Porter could continue to be Attorney General.
“The question for the Prime Minister is, is it okay to continue with business as usual and consider the case as closed, simply on the basis of what Mr. Porter says did not happen?
“Or do we need to test and properly address the claim to put it all aside, in one way or another, so that we can all move on?”
In an anonymous letter, Mr. Porter is accused of having sexually abused a woman when he was 17.
He insisted at a news conference today that it did not and he said he would not withdraw from his position.
The attorney general said it was up to third parties whether or not there should be an inquiry.
“I don’t know what that would achieve, other people will judge it, but it would be the first time in Australian history that a public figure or anyone would be effectively put on trial in circumstances in which they would be forced to refute something that hadn’t happened in 33 years” , he said.
“If it happened to me, all I can say is what I said to you today, it just didn’t happen.”
Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said an independent inquiry is still needed.
“An independent review, an inquiry, is the only way for a prime minister to properly inform himself if the men who sit around his office table are suitable to be there,” she said.
The SA Police received extra assistance from the coroner to continue their investigation into the woman’s death.
A statement from state judge David Whittle said, “The investigation is continuing and once the investigation has been completed satisfactorily, I will determine whether to conduct an investigation.”