The Prime Minister’s dismissal comes as the parents of the deceased woman said they would support “any inquiry” into their daughter’s suicide.
The Prime Minister’s dismissal comes as the parents of the deceased woman said they would support “any inquiry” into their daughter’s suicide.

PM says no to inquiry into death of Porter’s accuser

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has emphatically ruled out calling for an inquiry into the death of a woman who alleged she was the victim of a historic sex crime at the hands of Attorney-General Christian Porter as Labor continued to press for a reopening of the case.

The push for an inquiry or ­inquest into the circumstances ­surrounding the death came as the parents of the deceased woman ­on Thursday issued a statement through lawyers saying they would support "any inquiry" into their daughter's suicide.

"The family of the deceased continue to experience considerable grief arising from their loss," the statement said.

 

"They are supportive of any inquiry which would potentially shed light on the circumstances surrounding the deceased's passing."

But speaking to reporters in the Hunter Valley in the heart of socially conservative Labor country, Mr Morrison emphatically ruled out calling for an inquiry, saying that to take the investigation out of the hands of police and the courts would be detrimental to the presumption of innocence and rule of law.

"The investigation of allegations involving criminal activity by competent and authorised bodies. That is, the police … that is our rule of law," he said during his presser announcing a new resources road map for the Hunter's minerals industry.

A photograph allegedly showing the minister and the woman. Picture: news.com.au
A photograph allegedly showing the minister and the woman. Picture: news.com.au

"As traumatic as these events are, that principle must continue to guide us, and will certainly continue to guide me and my government as we deal with these very sensitive issues.

"The police are competent to deal with these issues.

They have reviewed the materials and they've formed their assessment.

"There is not some other process. There is not the mob process. There is not the tribe-has-spoken process. That's not how we run the rule of law in Australia."

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dismissed calls for an inquiry. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Peter Lorimer.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has dismissed calls for an inquiry. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Peter Lorimer.

The Daily Telegraph also understands that there are also some in the federal government who believe the ABC's dealings with the woman prior to her death could form part of the evidence submitted to any inquest.

Mr Morrison's refusal to call an inquiry was rebuffed by Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese: "It's time for the Prime Minister to give both himself and Australians confidence that Mr Porter is a fit and proper person to hold the ­office of Attorney-General."

The refusals also come as questions were raised about the accuracy of the alleged rape's timeline.

At Wednesday's emotional press conference - where Mr Porter addressed the claims and ­announced he would be taking mental health leave - he was asked by a reporter whether or not he had "been out to dinner, went dancing at the Hard Rock Cafe, and then walked the girl back to her room" before the sexual ­assault she claims took place at a debating tournament in 1988.

 

However, reports on the opening of Sydney's Hard Rock Cafe suggest it did not open until 1989.

One newspaper account of the opening reads: "When Sydney's Hard Rock Cafe opened its doors in Crown St, Darlinghurst, in 1989, 900 people paid $200 each to munch on burgers, mingle with ­celebrities, and marvel at the rock 'n' roll memorabilia."

A video on YouTube posted a year ago, and also dated 1989, shows MTV broadcasting from the opening-night event.

On Thursday NSW Police, which previously announced they considered the matter closed, also issued a detailed statement about the case, the late woman's reporting of the crime, and her subsequent decision to ask investigators not to proceed with the investigation.

"The woman very clearly ­articulated in that email that she did not want to proceed with the complaint," the statement said.

The statement also flagged mental health issues, saying that "she also advised investigators that she dissociates and wanted to ensure when supplying her statement that she was 'coherent and as grounded as possible'."

As well, an anonymous letter circulated by friends of the deceased woman also noted concerns her parents had about the case. The woman's parents, according to the letter, worried that she may have "confected or embellished her rape claim" due to her mental illness.

 

Originally published as 'Mob process': Inquiry into death of Porter's accuser dismissed



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