‘Difficult and sensitive issue’: Howard, Frydenberg defend handling of Porter rape allegation

Former prime minister John Howard and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have put their trust in the police, saying the justice system’s existing processes should handle the accusations against federal Attorney-General Christian Porter.

Both emphasised that the Attorney-General was entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Former prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.Credit:Nick Moir/Nine

"I agree with the handling of this very difficult and sensitive issue by the Prime Minister and minister," Mr Howard said on 2GB radio in Sydney.

Mr Frydenberg said he could see the "anguish" on Mr Porter's face when he addressed a press conference on Wednesday but said he disagreed with calls for Mr Porter to step down.

“Australians — whether it’s Christian Porter or yourself or myself or any other Australian citizen — are entitled to the presumption of innocence,” Mr Frydenberg said on Nine’s Today show.

On Wednesday, Mr Porter categorically denied all allegations against him, which included a claim that he had raped a young woman in 1988 who took her own life last year.

"It did not happen," he said.

That did not stop calls for an inquiry, with independent MPs calling for one to clear the air and ensure the top law officer of Australia was beyond reproach.

NSW Police closed its investigation into the woman’s allegations this week. SA Police are investigating her death on behalf of the coroner.

More to come

Start your day informed

Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald’s newsletter here, The Age’s here, Brisbane Times’ here, and WAtoday’s here.

Most Viewed in Politics

Source: Read Full Article