AFP officer charged with perjury, perverting justice

A federal police officer has been suspended from duty after being charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Trent Madders was charged with a count of aggravated perjury, perverting the course of justice and concealing evidence.

The offences relate back to alleged conduct carried out between June 2019 and August 2020.

His case was brought before the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday, but Madders did not appear.

Lawyers for Madders asked for the case to be adjourned for three weeks, with a hearing slated for August 1.

A plea has not been entered to the charges.

Madders was one of the federal police detectives in charge of the investigation into allegations of rape brought forward by Brittany Higgins against former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann.

A rape trial following the allegations was aborted after juror misconduct, but a defamation case found to the civil balance of probabilities standard Lehrmann had raped Ms Higgins.

Lehrmann, who has always denied the allegations, is appealing his loss in the defamation case.

The perjury charge brought against Madders is unrelated to the case surrounding Lehrmann.

In a statement, the Australian Federal Police said Madders had been charged by the AFP's professional standards and suspended from duty.

"The AFP is committed to transparency. No further comment will be made," a police spokesman said.

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