Christian Porter and attorney sentenced to pay more than $ 430,000 in legal costs

Former State Attorney Christian Porter and his defamatory lawyer have been sentenced to pay more than $ 430,000 to cover the costs of Jo Dyer, a friend of the woman who accused Mr Porter of raping her more than 30 years ago .

Ms Dyer had asked the federal court to stop Mr Porter’s lawyer, Sue Chrysanthou SC, from acting for him in a defamation suit against ABC last year.

Mrs Dyer’s lawyers successfully argued that there was a conflict of interest because she had raised issues relating to the case with Mrs Chrysanthou before her decision to represent Mr Porter.

Sir. Porter sued the public broadcaster over a story, published in February 2021, about an unnamed minister accused of an alleged historical sexual assault in the late 1980s.

He was not named in the story, but later revealed that he was the politician at the center of the allegation. Sir. Porter vehemently denied any wrongdoing and accused ABC of sensational reporting.

But he later dropped the case and the broadcaster has not paid any compensation. The story remains online.

The case cost ABC about $ 780,000 in attorneys’ fees.

Ms Dyer was a friend of the woman who had accused Mr Porter of the sexual assault.

Sir. Porter and Ms Chrysanthou had been ordered to cover Ms Dyer’s costs by federal court Tom Thawley, but had contested the amount, and Mr Porter is appealing the decision.

On Wednesday, the federal court revealed that the costs amounted to $ 430,200.

Late last year, Mr Porter announced that he would not run in the next election as the Liberal candidate for the Perce voters in Perth.

He was transferred from the position of public prosecutor to the industry portfolio in March 2021, before resigning from the ministry less than six months later.

Sir. Porter had been widely criticized for allowing a blind trust to cover part of the legal costs he had charged in his defamation suit against ABC because the identities of the donors and the amount they had contributed had not been revealed.

He had said he would not pressure the donors to step forward because they had donated funds with the belief that they would remain anonymous.

The government blocked an attempt to have his conduct referred to the Federal Parliament’s Privileges Committee.

An investigation later revealed that he had not broken the rules regarding parliamentarians’ disclosure of financial interests and gifts, but recommended that the rules be changed.

Ms Dyer is contesting the next federal election as an independent candidate for the Adelaide voters in Boothby – the most marginal constituency in southern Australia currently held by the Liberals.

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