News National Inquest to investigate Monis bail

Inquest to investigate Monis bail

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

A coroner will examine why Lindt Cafe gunman Man Haron Monis was free on bail after prosecutors lost a bid to block the inquiry.

The Sydney siege inquest will now look at how Monis was released on bail eight weeks before the Martin Place tragedy, despite facing serious charges of being an accessory to murder and sexual assault.

Siege families seek answers
Witness told Monis wasn’t a threat, inquiry hears
Siege gunman’s playboy past

NSW Coroner Michael Barnes will investigate Monis’ bail history and consider whether “a causal link” can be found between Monis’ bail and the deaths that occurred at the siege.

The coroner will also inquire into whether prosecutors responded appropriately when Monis sought and was granted bail.

The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions attempted to have bail matters excluded from the inquest, arguing they were outside the coroner’s jurisdiction and that any investigation would be “counter-factual”.

Families of siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson had joined with counsel assisting the inquest to oppose the DPP’s submission and were relieved with the outcome.

“The coroner made a good decision,” Katrina’s father Sandy Dawson said outside the inquest.

Mr Barnes ruled that questions around how Monis was free at the time were within the inquest’s scope and relevant as a matter of public interest and safety.

“As Mr Monis seems to have gone on to commit serious offences and endangered the public two months after being released on bail, inquiring into how he came to be at liberty relates to the matters I have identified as relevant to determining whether the bail questions are within jurisdiction,” Mr Barnes said on Friday.

The inquest heard Monis was charged with accessory to murder on November 15, 2013, and did not seek bail at the time.

When Monis was granted bail on December 12, 2013, it was against the recommendation of the DPP.

Monis was arrested on three sexual assault charges on April 14, 2014 and denied bail. He was then granted bail on May 26, again over the opposition of the DPP.

A further 40 sexual assault charges were laid on October 10, 2014, while he was in court on the first three charges.

Mr Barnes said the DPP did not oppose conditional bail being granted at that time and no attempts were made to review Monis’s bail.

The first session of the siege inquest, which examined Monis’s background, has now concluded.

When it resumes on August 17, the inquest will consider matters of bail as well as terrorism and guns over a session lasting up to three weeks.


View Comments