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Calls for independent inquiry into Christian Porter allegations grow

He denied the allegation and said will not be standing down as attorney-general, but will be seeking leave to improve his mental health.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during Question Time.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said an independent inquiry into the historical allegations against Attorney-General Christian Porter is not needed. (Alex Ellinghausen/Sydney Morning Herald)

The woman’s lawyer Michael Bradley told Today an external and independent inquiry should not be ruled out by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“The prime minister has a choice, and that is either accept that this matter is closed, based on Mr Porter’s denial of the allegation, and tell us all to move on and that’s the end of it, or come to the view that the matter isn’t closed because that question mark still remains, and therefore there needs to be a process to deal with it.

“The whole point of a process like that is it gathers all the evidence that it can. It tests it, it weighs it up, then it reaches a determination. That determination may well be that he’s exonerated.”

Despite Mr Morrison saying the police were the relevant authority to investigate the matter, Mr Bradley said a parallel inquiry could also be held.

“The police deal with the criminal question, the criminal justice question. It’s quite normal and conventional to have parallel processes,” he said.

Mr Bradley pointed to sporting bodies such as the National Rugby League that have an integrity unit to investigate criminal allegations against players.

Mr Bradley also said a question mark will remain over Mr Porter’s political future.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has rejected calls for an independent inquiry into historical sexual assault allegations against Attorney General Christian Porter.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has rejected calls for an independent inquiry into historical rape allegations against Attorney-General Christian Porter. (Today)

“I think it’s obviously a difficult situation because he holds such a high office of public trust, and the allegation against him is so serious,” he said.

“With that combination of factors it leaves a question mark, sort of a cloud hanging over him, which I don’t think has been dispelled.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg today rejected calls for an independent inquiry into the historical rape allegations levelled against Mr Porter.

Mr Frydenberg told Today that the police remained the authorised body to investigate the allegations and Mr Porter was entitled to a presumption of innocence.

NSW Police confirmed this week they had closed their investigation because of “insufficient admissible evidence”.

“Christian Porter gave a lengthy statement yesterday, fronted the media, and made an emphatic denial of those allegations against him,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence. We adhere to the rule of law.

“The police have looked at these matters and have said the case is closed.”

The woman who made the allegation against Mr Porter died last year.

Mr Frydenberg said the airing of the allegations had taken its toll on Mr Porter.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said will not be standing down as attorney-general, but will be seeking leave to improve his mental health. (Paul Kane/Getty)

“These have been very distressing days in the Parliament, and I saw yesterday aspects of Christian Porter’s press conference and you could see the anguish on his face, you could see the affect that it was having on him.”

Independent MP Zali Steggall and Northern Territory Senator Malarndirri McCarthy have joined calls for a transparent, independent inquiry into the historical rape allegations.

Ms Steggall told Today that Australians need transparency.

“I think the Australian public deserves to know exactly what is the case. What evidence is there?” she said.

“We have a situation where very sadly the alleged victim is no longer able to put forward her version of events.”

Independent MP Zali Steggall says the Australian public needs to be 'satisfied' with the case.
Independent MP Zali Steggall says the Australian public needs to be ‘satisfied’ with the case. (Today)

Senator McCarthy said the independent inquiry would resolve “unanswered questions”.

“There are so many questions that still remain unanswered and that’s why the calls for an independent inquiry are really important,” Senator McCarthy said.

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Source: 9News | World News

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