Jo Dyer, a friend of the woman who alleged she was raped by Christian Porter in 1988, has issued the former attorney-general with a warning that she is considering launching a defamation case against him.
On Tuesday, Dyer and her legal team reportedly sent Porter a second concerns notice in relation to comments he made in a press conference after discontinuing his own defamation case against the ABC. In a statement released publicly, Dyer claimed Porter had ‘twice impugned my honesty and integrity”.
“Yesterday, Mr Porter alleged that, after ‘coaching’ from [Louise] Milligan, I had destroyed important communications that may have bearing on his now discontinued action against Ms Milligan and the ABC,” Dyer’s statement said.
“This is absurd. As I stated in court under oath, a number of people, of whom Ms Milligan was but one, encouraged me to treat all communications about our dear friend Kate, and the allegations she made against Mr Porter, with the care and respect she and they warranted.
“I endeavoured to do so by both filing and deleting correspondence between me and other individuals as appropriate.
“There was nothing improper, illegal or sinister in my decisions to save or delete certain messages, decisions that were taken well before Mr Porter launched his now discontinued action against Ms Milligan and the ABC.”
Porter launched defamation action against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan in March, regarding an online article detailing allegations of rape against a sitting cabinet minister. Porter was not named in the article, but he alleged he was made identifiable.
After a week of intense media scrutiny following the publication of the article, Porter identified himself as the subject and strenuously denied the allegations that he had raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988.
On Monday, it was announced that the case had been discontinued.
Last week, Dyer won a court order preventing Porter’s barrister, Sue Chrysanthou, acting for him in the now discontinued defamation case. It was ruled that Chrysanthou could not act for Porter in the case because there was a potential risk of the misuse of confidential information Dyer had provided to Chrysanthou in previous, separate matter.
In her statement, Dyer said Porter had implied on May 12 that her bid to stop Chrysanthou acting for him was “part of an improper last-minute legal strategy” to cause disruption to his case against the ABC.
“He did this despite knowing the real reason for the court action, and the lengths to which I had gone over the proceeding two months to avoid court.”
Dyer said Porter “should be on notice that if I launch legal proceedings, I tend to see them through to their conclusion.”
“The allegations Kate made against the former Attorney General remain completely untested,” Dyer said. “Until they have been investigated, it is untenable for Mr Porter to remain in Cabinet.”