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Porter, ABC lawyers back in court this week as defamation looms

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Lawyers for Christian Porter and the ABC are returning to court as they prepare to do battle in a major defamation case.

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The parties will be back in court Friday for a procedural case management hearing.

Fresh orders published on Tuesday also set aside June 1 and 2 for argument about striking out large parts of the ABC’s defence.

Porter is trying to get the bulk of the ABC’s already redacted defence thrown out altogether.

The presiding judge will decide on his application after the upcoming two-day hearing.

Porter is suing the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for defamation over a February 26 online article headlined “Scott Morrison, senators and AFP told of historical rape allegation against cabinet minister”.

Porter was not named in the article but alleges he was widely identified as the subject, including on social media.

In the high-stakes defamation case, the ABC argues Porter can reasonably be suspected of raping a 16-year-old girl.

Porter says the historical rape allegations are false and has accused the national broadcaster of leading a determined campaign against him.

The eventual trial could last six weeks with the ABC planning to call up to 15 witnesses.

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