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two government heavyweights sanctioned after rape charges

Defense Minister Linda Reynolds and Attorney General Christian Porter were demoted Monday by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
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Will the sanctions be enough to calm the political crisis in Australia? Two Australian government heavyweights were dismissed Monday March 29 from their functions and demoted in the hierarchy of the executive after resounding accusations of rape which forced Prime Minister Scott Morrison to reshuffle.

Defense Minister Linda Reynolds and Attorney General Christian Porter, who is the government’s principal legal adviser, have both been replaced, Scott Morrison said. He also announced the promotion of several women in his government, saying his new team was the one with “the highest representation of women” in the history of the Australian executive.

The two ministers concerned had been on sick leave for several weeks, and the Prime Minister had until then assured that they would resume their functions. They were kept in government, but demoted: Linda Reynolds takes over the portfolio of government services, and Christian Porter that of Industry, Science and Technology.

Brittany Higgins, a former government employee, claimed last month that she was raped in 2019 by a colleague in the parliamentary office of Linda Reynolds, who at the time was Minister of Defense Industry. Become Minister of Defense, the latter was criticized for the way in which her cabinet would have received the accusations of the young woman at the time.

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In early March, Christian Porter was accused of having raped in 1988 a 16-year-old girl with whom he was studying. The latter died last year. He vigorously disputed these accusations.

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