The woman who accused federal minister Christian Porter of rape wanted to stop him becoming prime minister “if she was unable to achieve a greater outcome”, a court has heard.
“She was saying that given how difficult it would be for her to pursue this case, that a measure of success for her endeavours would be if Mr Porter did not become prime minister,” Jo Dyer, a friend of the now-deceased “AB”, said on Tuesday.
Ms Dyer made the comments while giving evidence in her bid to unseat defamation specialist Sue Chrysanthou SC from representing Mr Porter in his case against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan.
The Industry, Science and Technology Minister launched the defamation claim in March after the ABC published a story revealing AB’s rape allegation.
Mr Porter, who was attorney-general at the time of the publication, denies raping AB when they were teenagers.
Ms Dyer described herself as a close friend of AB, with whom she reconnected in 2019.
AB then made the allegation, and Ms Dyer believed her, she told the Federal Court.
Ms Dyer also believed they needed to be made public to be “tested”, she said.
“[Stopping Mr Porter becoming prime minister] was a small measure of success for her, if she was unable to achieve a greater outcome,” Ms Dyer said.
Three days after AB’s suicide in June 2020, journalist Milligan contacted Ms Dyer and they began talking over Signal.
Some of the messages were produced under subpoena but others had already been deleted, the court was told.
“I think there was a hope I would delete as we went along,” Ms Dyer said.
“I did delete them en masse some months ago but I couldn’t give you a date.”
Ms Dyer said she and another of AB’s friends met Ms Chrysanthou, barrister Matthew Richardson and solicitors in November 2020. Confidential information was passed “within the confines of that lawyer-client relationship”.
Ms Chrysanthou provided further advice into early 2021, before signing on to represent Mr Porter on March 15.
The court heard Ms Chrysanthou called one of Ms Dyer’s solicitors on March 15, informed that she had no recollection of receiving any confidential information from Ms Dyer.
After speaking to Ms Dyer and the other friend at the November meeting, solicitor Michael Bradley said he went back to Ms Chrysanthou and aired a concern that she was told “something else” that could help Mr Porter against the ABC.
The exact nature of that material was not aired in open court but Mr Bradley agreed he told Ms Chrysanthou it partly related to Ms Dyer’s interaction with the ABC.
The hearing is due to resume on Wednesday.
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