Brittany Higgins rape case: Five ACT police officers examine evidence

Brittany Higgins. Picture: Karleen Minney
Brittany Higgins. Picture: Karleen Minney

A taskforce of five ACT police members are investigating the alleged rape of former parliamentary staffer Brittany Higgins, the territory's top police officer says.

ACT Policing chief police officer and AFP deputy commissioner Neil Gaughan said four investigators and one detective inspector were examining evidence in relation to the case, which is alleged to have taken place in Parliament House in 2019.

However, the deputy commissioner would not confirm if officers had spoken with or interviewed the alleged perpetrator.

"Natural justice has to be held," Deputy Commissioner Gaughan told ABC Radio Canberra on Wednesday.

"Of course, this person that has allegedly undertaken any crime is not obliged to be actually subjected to an interview, they have the right to remain silent.

"It's up to them, it's a matter for them, that's the way our democracy is and the way our laws have been crafted.

"We've got to get this right, clearly, and be methodical.

"We will work with the evidence and work with the DPP, and when they're ready, we'll make some further comments about it."

The deputy commissioner did not indicate how long the investigation into the alleged rape would take, saying he did not want to put pressure on investigators.

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Ms Higgins went public in February with the allegations of rape in 2019 inside then-defence minister Linda Reynold's office.

The former Liberal staffer then made a formal complaint to the AFP in the days after her story was reported in the media.

Ms Higgins had met with ACT police officers in 2019 shortly after the alleged incident in 2019, but asked officers at the time not to proceed with an investigation, revealing she felt pursuing the allegation with police would affect her position as a parliamentary staffer.

Deputy Commissioner Gaughan said officers would have to see where the evidence lead them before making any further public statement on the investigation.

ACT chief police officer Neil Gaughan. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

ACT chief police officer Neil Gaughan. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

This story Five police officers examining Higgins rape case first appeared on The Canberra Times.