Sofronoff report ready but release delayed by ACT Chief Minister; why?

Andrew L. Urban

It is delivered today, July 31, 2023, but the ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr “currently intends” to release some or all of the Sofronoff inquiry report into the handling of the Brittany Higgins rape allegations against Bruce Lehrmann and the abandoned trial, at the end of August. No reasons are given. None would be acceptable.

Bruce Lehrmann

Bruce Lehrmann can not be exonerated by the report’s findings, as he has not been found guilty – except perhaps in the court of public opinion, where the presumption of innocence is not always recognised. He was also deprived of the opportunity of being found not guilty. But Commissioner Sofronoff’s report may well reveal in its ugly entirety how unfairly he has been treated by the process itself and some of the participants. This further delay in setting the record straight about why and how that came to pass is a further injustice. His reputation may be at least partly salvaged by the findings.

Barr “may” provide an interim response before a final response that “may take several months”. That’s not good enough either. The many people involved, not least the two central characters, deserve better than that. The public deserves better than that. The inquiry was titled Board of Inquiry Criminal Justice System; it now seems that another inquiry is called for into the ACT political system.

The inquiry explored the messy scandal that involved political leaders, senior police, the DPP, high profile media and the courts, with the complainant and the accused at the centre. Delaying the release of the findings casts a shadow over the ACT Government’s sincerity about transparency. We are entitled to ask: what’s being kept from the public and why?

Tellingly, Chief Minister Barr only announced the delay after seeing the report.

Disclosure: Andrew L. Urban has been invited to work with Bruce Lehrmann on his book about the scandal.

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6 Responses to Sofronoff report ready but release delayed by ACT Chief Minister; why?

  1. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich says:

    According to the leaked extract from the Sofronoff Report , Mr. Drumgold is likely to be replaced as ACT DPP for “knowingly lied ” to the Supreme Court judge hearing the alleged Brittany Higgins/ Bruce Lehrmann rape case . If Mr. Drumgold is found guilty of perverting the course of justice he may be removed from the Roll of Barristers as well. It is claimed he lost objectivity. According to Judge Conlon both then Prime Minister Morrison and the then Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, showed “Incredible Naivety “in apologising to Miss Higgins from the floor of Parliament despite no proof that she was a victim of rape and no proof Bruce Lehrmann was her rapist . She is reported to have received some $2 million in compensation from the taxpayers despite no proof she had been raped ! In my opinion, it shows that both Albanese and Morrison lacked judgement, objectivity and acted impulsively before a court had determined whether the alleged rape had occurred or not !

    • andrew says:

      Agreed. Their immunity protects them from prosecution.

      • Carlos says:

        Why not challenge their purported immunity?
        Corruption in high places is only because they’ve given themselves immunity, once that is removed then EVERY politician &c. will therein after do their Constitutional Duty

  2. Donna HARRIS says:

    All parties to the report deserve to have this report made public immediately so that the speculation is ceased. We have all heard the questions and some of the answers on a daily basis published in the media out of context. The public needs to know the results and recommendations now.

    I can only guess that this is so key players can read it and have a chance to concoct excuses in advance of its release.

    Once again political interference wins.

    • Father Ted Whalensky says:

      Sure would make one wonder – would a CCRC ever work in this Australian Can of Whitchetty Grubs ?
      Grubs is as Grubs does !

  3. John S says:

    One can only speculate as to the real reasons for delay (heads up to those about to face consequences?).

    Delay hardly seems to be likely to achieve anything, in fact it makes the whole saga look worse!

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