Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has rejected calls for an Independent into Australia’s Attorney General, Mr Christian Porter, after he revealed himself as being the Cabinet minister accused of the historical rape allegations.
Pressure is building with the public calling for an independent inquiry into the rape allegations against Australia’s top law officer. New South Wales Police closed the investigation last year, stating that there was not enough evidence to continue having been opened in February last year, being suspended in June and formally closed this week. Mr Porter has insisted that he was never contacted by the Police.
There is the legal presumption of innocence, and like every other Australian, the Attorney-General is entitled to the same treatment, but despite the 45-minute press conference held, Labour, the Greens and others refuse to drop their requests for another inquiry.
The government is planning to reject any calls for a further inquiry stating that former Labor leader Bill Shorten was not subject to an inquiry after he revealed a rape claim against him in 2014. Labor has argued that Mr Shorten was interviewed by Police at the time while Mr Porter was not, a key difference in the investigation.
Porter has insisted that claims are false, taking sick leave until the flurry of media speculation and public outrage calms. He has refused to give up his role however it is likely that the public’s conscious will never be soothed until the allegations have been investigated externally.
An inquiry would also allow for Mr Porter to formally respond to the allegations.
The woman at the centre of the allegations went to the NSW police last year but soon withdrew her complaint before taking her own life in June. The pair met after both competing in a Sydney University debating competition.
Part of being in the legal profession is that you are “fit and proper” person, an oath is taken when being admitted to the court. The Australian public must trust that the highest legal officer in the Nation fits that criteria and an independent inquiry into the allegations may be just what is needed to restore this confidence.
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