Bruce Lehrmann's former barrister has accused the ACT's top prosecutor of "serious dereliction", detailing a fiery phone call in which he unsuccessfully tried to stop Brittany Higgins making a televised speech. In a statement tendered to an independent inquiry into Mr Lehrmann's case, defence barrister John Korn details how he rang ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold SC in February 2022. At the time, Mr Korn was representing Mr Lehrmann as the latter awaited an ACT Supreme Court trial over allegations he raped Ms Higgins at Parliament House during their time as Liberal Party staffers. The charge levelled at Mr Lehrmann, who maintains his innocence, was ultimately discontinued following a mistrial. In the lead-up to the trial, Mr Korn became aware Ms Higgins was to speak at the National Press Club. Two days before the scheduled address, he rang Mr Drumgold and asked whether the prosecutor thought it would be appropriate for his office to "invite" Ms Higgins not to speak. In his statement, he says Mr Drumgold replied: "No, why would we do that?" Mr Korn claims to have responded by saying he understood Ms Higgins would be "standing on the podium as a survivor of sexual assault" in circumstances where her status as a victim had not been determined and his client denied any wrongdoing. Mr Drumgold is said to have responded: "Oh no, no, no, that's not the way I see it." The barrister says Mr Drumgold spoke "in a mocking tone" that he considered "very inappropriate". This perception prompted him to snap back at the prosecutor in a blunt fashion. "Mr Director, I don't give a f--- how you see it, but every right-minded person in Australia, including me, would see it that way and she should not speak on that podium from that perspective," Mr Korn claims to have said. "So I ask you, once again, to consider whether you would invite Ms Higgins not to speak." According to Mr Korn, Mr Drumgold said Ms Higgins had been appropriately warned not to give any details of the alleged rape and he had no plans to "invite" her to cancel her speech entirely. In his statement, Mr Korn said he believed Mr Drumgold had a responsibility to at least try to prevent Ms Higgins from giving the address ahead of Mr Lehrmann's trial. He described Mr Drumgold's failure to do this as "a serious dereliction or serious lack of judgement". READ MORE: The defence barrister also alleged Ms Higgins had engaged in "an active media campaign" that had already "trashed the concept of a fair trial" before the speech. Mr Korn ended up withdrawing from the case before it reached trial, with Steven Whybrow SC ultimately representing Mr Lehrmann. While police have been criticised for allegedly "aligning themselves with an acquittal" and trying to "feed" information to the defence team led by Mr Whybrow, Mr Korn says his dealings with investigators were "entirely, appropriately, professional". "I never detected any sense of malice towards Mr Lehrmann, nor undue sympathy for Miss Higgins," he wrote in his statement to the inquiry. The inquiry is currently conducting public hearings as it investigates the conduct of Mr Drumgold, police and ACT Victims of Crime Commissioner Heidi Yates in connection with Mr Lehrmann's case.