Lehrmann defence plan to quiz Qld rape case witnesses

Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann's lawyers intend to cross-examine witnesses in an attempt to prevent allegations of rape proceeding to trial.

Lehrmann, 28, is accused of raping a woman twice at Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, in October 2021 and the charges have been subject to a committal process since January to determine if there are sufficient grounds for a trial.

Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Wednesday accepted a proposed schedule from Patrick Wilson for the defence to file notice describing proposed evidence and for the prosecution to respond.

Lehrmann, who is attending a Federal Court defamation trial against Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson in Sydney, was excused from appearing in person and Mr Wilson appeared by phone.

"The intention is to seek to cross-examine witnesses as part of committal proceedings," Mr Wilson said.

Lehrmann's lawyers have previously sought medical evidence and extensive phone text message records from the alleged victim, resulting in prosecutors challenging the scope of the request.

Mr Wilson also sought a directions hearing to cross-examine a person on the contents of their written statement, with notice filed within a month.

Magistrate Louise Shephard said that period was significantly longer than usual practice but crown prosecutor Nicole Friedewald said she was satisfied with the proposal.

Mr Wilson said if both defence and prosecutors had filed their materials for the case by January 31, 2024 he would need about two hours for a directions hearing.

"It's not going to be incredibly complicated in the factual sense but there may be some matters to discuss," Mr Wilson said.

Ms Shephard set a directions hearing for February 26, 2024.

"If there is agreement and directions is not required, it's not necessarily the case that the court would be able to morph that into a committal (hearing) with cross-examination," Ms Shephard said.

Mr Wilson said he would contact the court if the defence and prosecution were able to settle the disputed issues without the need of a directions hearing.

The matter was then adjourned.

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