The cabinet minister at the centre of historical rape allegations involving a 16 year old girl in 1988 is preparing to identify himself and deny any wrongdoing.
Government sources have confirmed that now New South Wales Police has declared “case closed” on the matter he will relinquish his anonymity to categorically deny the allegations.
He will not stand down from his job and plans to continue in his role now that police have confirmed they will not investigate or lay charges.
Scott Morrison has previously revealed the Liberal minister at the centre of the claim, who has not been identified, “vigorously” denies the allegations and categorically refutes that he ever raped the Adelaide woman when she was a 16-year-old teenager.
But former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday that the minister must now “out himself” in respect for his colleagues and the country.
“He should out himself and he should provide a comprehensive statement,” he said.
“He should describe when he knew the woman, how he knew the woman, what dealings he had with the woman after the event. We need to know what he knew about the complaint and when he knew about it.
“Frankly, it’s not good enough for the Prime Minister to say ‘Oh, it’s a matter for police’ The Prime Minister cannot outsource his responsibility for composing his ministry to the police.
“He should require the minister to speak up. He owes it to his colleagues and the country.”
Legal sources in South Australia have told news.com.au that a coronial inquiry cannot be conducted into the woman’s death in Adelaide until police had completed their own investigations.
While there is no active investigation into her rape claims – it was paused by her just days before her suicide – the Australian Federal Police (AFP), South Australia Police and NSW Police are going through the material provided by her and friends who were with her on the night at the centre of the rape allegation to ensure all the documentation goes to the correct authorities.
Mr Morrison said he first heard about an anonymous letter to him detailing the claims last week and spoke to the accused man and the AFP commissioner that same night.
“Did I raise it? Yes, I did. And he vigorously and completely denied the allegations. So that means there is a proper process now for it to follow.
“It is the police, in a country where you’re governed by the rule of law, that determine the veracity of any allegations of this nature,’’ he said.
Mr Morrison received an anonymous letter last week, including an attachment outlining historical allegations of an alleged rape committed by the man before he entered politics.
The woman claimed she was raped in 1988 in the document, which was referred to the AFP.
She died in June 2020 after taking her own life in Adelaide, having reported the matter to police in 2019.
But NSW Police, which had been the lead agency in the case since 2020, confirmed the matter was closed due to insufficient evidence in a statement on Tuesday.
“For various reasons, the woman did not detail her allegations in a formal statement to NSW Police,” it read.
“Following the woman’s death, NSW Police came into possession of a personal document purportedly made by the woman previously.
“NSW Police have since sought legal advice in relation to these matters.
“Based on information provided to NSW Police, there is insufficient admissible evidence to proceed.
“As such, NSW Police Force has determined the matter is now closed.”