News State NSW News Prosecutors push to block Monis bail probe

Prosecutors push to block Monis bail probe

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Prosecutors are trying to stop the Sydney siege inquest examining why gunman Man Haron Monis was on bail.

Monis was on bail for 43 serious sexual assault charges and a charge of accessory to the murder of his former wife when he took 18 people hostage in the Lindt cafe in Martin Place on December 15, 2014.

A spokeswoman for the Coroner’s Office has confirmed the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions applied on Monday to stop the inquest addressing the issue of bail.

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A DPP spokeswoman declined to comment on Wednesday.

Counsel assisting the inquest Jeremy Gormly SC told a directions hearing in January the inquest would consider in particular the question of whether prosecutors responded adequately to the application for, and granting of, bail for Monis.

Submissions by the DPP will be presented to the coroner on June 5.

Evidence presented to the inquest on Wednesday revealed Monis may have been “diagnosis shopping” and using manipulation when he was given starkly different diagnoses by two psychiatrists at the same time.

Psychiatrist Dr Kristen Barrett told the siege inquest she saw Monis in May 2010.

Monis had been taken to Sydney’s Canterbury Hospital in April suffering dizziness and weakness, and was referred after his condition was attributed to mental rather than physical causes.

Monis had “delusional” ideas that he was being constantly watched by Iranian and Australian government security agencies, Dr Barrett told the inquest.

He was fearful of using his Medicare card because of suspected surveillance and asked if his consultation with Dr Barrett was being recorded.

“He was very evasive in his answers – he felt that he was being watched all the time, even in his bathroom,” Dr Barrett told the court.

“My impression was that he had chronic schizophrenia and my treatment plan was to start anti-psychotic medication.”

Dr Barrett treated Monis throughout 2010, prescribing medication for psychotic hallucinations and anxiety.

However, the inquest heard that Monis also visited another Sydney psychiatrist, Dr Daniel Murray, twice in late 2010 – making no mention of seeing Dr Barrett.

Dr Murray told the inquest he saw no sign of schizophrenia in Monis, who said nothing about fearing being under surveillance.

Instead he saw only a possible paranoid personality disorder, with Monis saying he was worried about friends taking offence at his forthright manner.

Dr Barrett and Dr Murray told the inquest they were surprised to learn Monis had seen another psychiatrist.

Dr Murray agreed with Mr Gormly that a patient telling two stories to two different psychiatrists meant “there is some manipulation going on”.

He said Monis was possibly “diagnosis-shopping.”

Dr Murray first saw Monis in 2005 when a GP referred him for depression.

Monis then called himself Michael Hayson Mavros, wore a suit and tie, and told a story about his family being political prisoners in Iran.

Dr Murray recalled the dramatic transformation when he saw Monis five years on: his name had changed and instead of a suit he wore the flowing robes and cloth hat of an Islamic cleric.

The hearing continues on Thursday.


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