Seven on the stand

A senior executive from Seven is set to take the stand today amid reports the network is mulling the future of Spotlight.

A senior executive from Seven is set to take the stand today in the final act of the high profile defamation case between Bruce Lehrmann and Network 10 / Lisa Wilkinson.

Seven has been ordered to return two subpoenas it received in June and August relating to any documents they may have obtained from Lehrmann for its Spotlight interviews last year.

An as-yet-unnamed senior executive from Seven (“the Proper Officer”) is expected to answer questions on whether the network provided all the material it was required to, under the terms of two subpoenas issued by the court.

In its original response to the subpoena from 10 to produce documents in June 2023, Seven said “there are no written communications or records of communications to produce pursuant to the subpoeana”.

According to multiple documents on the federal court file, 10 has alleged that Seven received material from Lehrmann and Seven has always denied it.

Explosive allegations by former Spotlight producer Taylor Auerbach (pictured) have led to 10 re-opening its case and Justice Michael Lee delaying his judgment which was due to have been delivered today.

A Seven spokesperson said those claims were untested: “We strongly reject the false and misleading claims relating to the broadcast of material in the Spotlight program. Seven has never revealed its source or sources and has no intention of doing so. Seven notes Mr Lehrmann’s court testimony last year that he was not the source. Furthermore, Seven did not condone or authorise the alleged payments to Mr Lehrmann referred to in the affidavits.”

According to some media reports, Seven West executives reportedly held ­crisis talks on Wednesday about the future of the Spotlight -currently scheduled to resume on Seven on April 14.

The trial resumes at 9:30am this morning.

Auerbach will give evidence at 2.15pm.

Source: Guardian, The Australian