Home Australia Lindt Siege — Coroner Michael Barnes Delivers His Findings

Lindt Siege — Coroner Michael Barnes Delivers His Findings

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Coroner Michael Barnes

by Dee McLachlan

This morning at 10 am, Coroner Michael Barnes delivered his findings on the siege at the Lindt Cafe on 15 and 16 December, 2005.

The usual stories emerged on the mainstream media (MSM). Dr Clarke Jones, a criminologist, was interviewed and is confused why Man Haron Monis was out on bail in the first place. Terrorism analyst Greg Barton thought the the siege could have been handled in a different way.

The MSM discussed how Monis was taken off terror watch list in 2009, that he was a narcissistic moaner not deemed dangerous. They discussed how authorities probably did not understand the threat, and that we are now better prepared. Blah blah blah.

These are some of the key findings of the report as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald article:

  • Several errors led to Monis being on bail at the time of the Lindt Cafe siege despite facing being charged with accessory to murder his ex-wife while already on bail for 40 sex offences…
  • The deaths and injuries that occurred during the siege were not the fault of the NSW Police but the blame for those rests on the shoulders of Monis.
  • It remains unclear if Monis was motivated by Islamic State to prosecute its “bloodthirsty agenda”…
  • The police procedure of “contain and negotiate” failed.
  • Police took too long waiting 10 minutes to storm the Lindt cafe after a shot was fired. Tori Johnson died between that first shot and police entering the cafe.
  • The NSW Police negotiators practice during the siege “lacked sophistication” and no progress was made towards a negotiated settlement at any stage during the stand-off.
  • The psychologist brought in to consult police was strongly criticised – he was permitted to give advice about police tactics, made erroneous and unrealistic assessments about what was happening and went beyond his area of expertise to give advice about Islamic terrorism.
  • The glass between police snipers and Monis was too hard to achieve an accurate shot.
  • The Australian Defence Force shouldn’t, and couldn’t, have taken over the siege.

There were questions that were never answered — and questions that were never asked.

I have skimmed through the lengthy document, and I will note here a few areas below (quoting from the document):

Chapter 13: Negotiation

  1. The primary strategy of the NSWPF for responding to sieges is one of containment and negotiation. That involves controlling entry, exit and communications from and to the stronghold and communicating with the hostage taker/s to identify their demands and the conditions under which they might release the hostages and surrender to police. That approach was adopted during the Lindt Café siege. It failed…

They never managed to speak to Monis. To continue:

  1. It is not suggested that the negotiators failed to adequately pursue opportunities to engage with Monis because of any lack of diligence or commitment. Rather, it appears that their practice lacked the sophistication necessary to generate options, probably because that had never been necessary in their previous work dealing with domestic sieges.

And…

  1. No progress towards a negotiated settlement of the siege was made at any stage…

To me there is one person that seems to be the hub of the wheel.

The Consultant Psychiatrist

 

  1. A consultant psychiatrist was called in by police and arrived at the Police Forward Command Post at about 1.15 p.m. He remained there, providing advice to negotiators and participating in telephone conferences between the Police Forward Command Post and Police Operations Centre, until the end of the siege.
  1. …It was apparent that the police commanders, police negotiators and the Consultant Psychiatrist involved in the Lindt Café siege response lacked a shared understanding of the limits of the psychiatrist’s role.
  1. The Consultant Psychiatrist’s participation in the siege response was suboptimal in four respects: he was permitted to give advice about negotiation strategy and tactics, he made erroneous and unrealistic assessments about what was occurring in the stronghold, he gave ambiguous advice about the nature of Monis’ behaviour, and he was permitted to go beyond his area of expertise to give advice about Islamic terrorism.

Who is this person?

Who do they work for?

What experience did they have, and who organised for this person to be “in charge” of the negotiations?

Negotiators

Negotiators starting arriving on the scene just after 10 am in the morning — very soon after the siege began.

At 10.20 am the negotiating team was ready to negotiate.

At 10.42 am, a negotiator, called Peter, made the first call to Tori Johnson number (retrieved from 000). The called again and spoke to Louisa Hope (who passed on Monis’s demands to speak with the prime minister). Just after 11.00 am they called the number and spoke with Fiona Ma. Monis was demanding to get onto the ABC, and Asst Commissioner Fuller saw this demand as an opportunity to engage with Monis. But the negotiators did not follow this through.

Missed Calls

Conclusion: Missed calls.

  1. Eight calls by hostages to a number they had been told would connect them with a negotiator were not answered—four around 8.00 p.m. and another four between 12.30 a.m. and 1.00 a.m. An unknown number of calls were also diverted…

The Mock-up

(541)  Shortly after 6.30 p.m., Major S became aware that TAG East had constructed a mock-up of the café and that it   was available for use by NSW or interstate tactical operatives to practice entry and/or familiarise themselves with the café’s layout.

Past articles on when was this mock-up built? And an analysis of the mock-up by Mal Hughes.

Michael Klooster

Michael Klooster, a barrister, had represented Monis in court in the past — and saw Monis in the cafe that morning when he went in to order a coffee. He spoke briefly with Monis.

It was at 2.15 p.m. when Klooster was watching TV that he thought it must be Monis. He called up the National Security Hotline. Klooster allegedly offered to negotiate with Monis — but this offer was never taken up.

This is the link to download the coroners findings.

Mary Maxwell’s book on the Siege here.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly a stuff up.
    If Klooster was willing, why not consult with Klooster as to his chances?
    Did anyone consult in person with Klooster? If not why not?
    I detect a monumental stuff up just on this point alone.

    • I did not know about Klooster, I do not follow what I thought was going to have too much BS floated,.
      I would be interested in knowing:
      Was Klooster called?
      Was he cross examined by victim’s counsel?
      Was there any face to face discussion by authorities with Klooster?
      Did it not occur to the authorities that a professional associationve with Monis may have been of benefit for a resolution.
      Klooster spoke to Monis……. There was some rappore’
      Believe it or not for the information of authorities. Counsel advise clients facing criminal circumstances. Is it unknown to authorities that in all jurisdictions, more often than not the client accepts the advice and complies.
      Hey Mr Authority, how do you think there are many guilty pleas to charges and at times, charges amended and a plea entered.
      If there was a deliberate failure to consult with Klooster the whole thing smells.ove I
      Yea right. They engaged a psychologist! Had he ever met Monis?
      Nah, if all the above is half true I either smell a rat or a den of idiots.

        • What are the odds that if counsel spoke to Monis, he may have told his counsel what the whole thing was really about, thus Monis was denied contact.
          Add to that, why was Abbott closed out of the possibilities?

          • Good term, Nedski. “denied contact.” Let’s call it DC.

            Jahar, Bryant, though still alive, are utterly denied contact. (I haven’t had a thank-you note for the birthday poster yet. Hey whatever happened to etiquette?)

            Monis denied contact all day, even when he demanded it. As for Abbott, he was too busy telling the nation it was a terrifying situation.

    • Perhaps I should clarify.
      By referring to the NSW police, I am referring to our officers spending hours ready to face Unknown danger when entering the cafe, whilst the heavies at the top went home to bed.

      • I am offering a prize (a dozen chocolate chip cookies) to the person who can provide the shortest answer (but greater than one character) to the following question:

        What is the difference between the Siege Inquest Report and the Report of the Wood Royal Commission?

          • Very good try, Ned, and I apologize for my parochialism.
            But you do not win the biccies.

            As for your speling, I now admire you more than ever as I have (“for my candidacy”) had to learn the arduous task of typing onto a cell phone. You do a remarkable job. (I am typing this on a laptop.)

        • Answer ’20 plus years of manipulation propaganda brain washing lies corruption and silencing”—– all roads lead to Rome with a stop over at Tavistock guided by military intelligence and on and on

  2. The Lindt cafe siege was a show piece for police propaganda to support increase of police powers and to explain to the public how the government is making us safe and to increase taxation, the government is a increasing terrorism by aggressive military in the Middle East.
    Our main terrorist threat is our own military and also government and police activity, the 1% banking fraternity require terrorism as a means of controlling people and to hold the same in a constant state of fear.
    Since the destruction of the 60s movement of freedom the by think tanks such as Tavistock, today the plan to increase cost of housing and lowering of wages the export of jobs, now we have make up jobs, all part of the plan to keep the masses down.
    The collective collusion of the public at large are also culpable in colluding with the system.
    It is no longer a possibility to have a conversation with most people who only desire to talk cliques and are insincere to the extent that it is pointless to converse with most, if your views are other than the projection of what they want you to fit into their projections of what is.
    Freedom is the most terrifying ordeal and terror on the street of maiming and so on is preferable to freedom of the human spirit.

  3. I used to work out of the DX next door to the cafe and I also used to deliver food to the kitchen when it was Banq restaurant, there was an anti terror exercise carried about a year before this incident that has since been wiped from the net but I remember seeing it happen, that should give pause for thought, now please imagine the cafe layout, there are two doors with the main one exiting to Martin Place and the side one exiting to Phillip St, this one is also the fire escape that some people escaped from and can’t be seen from inside the cafe,, the fire exit has stairs going down to the kitchen which occupies the basement, so you go down the stairs on the Phillip St side and then go up the stairs on the other side and come out from behind a screen at the rear of the place, this was where the food was delivered from, given that there was a training exercise prior to the event they must have known about this alternative way in but if they didn’t the staff that escaped via the fire escape could have told them, so one person could have gone through the kitchen and come out behind Monis (esp. if they created a diversion in Martin place ) and shot or tased him from behind, there was no need whatsoever to storm it from the front so ask yourself why, I know they suspected that he may have had a bomb but had he had one he could have detonated it when they stormed the place so what was the purpose of this exercise, one last thing is where is Monis buried, no-one seems to know so is he even dead or back in the Middle East somewhere living it large on his bonus, who knows, the whole thing stinks.

    • Keith, officers stood outside that door for hours. There seemed to be another door that led up stairs to another place (I presume). Most fire doors automatically lock — and are easily opened from the inside. So I have wondered —
      1. Was this an auto locking door? (opening from the inside, but locked from the outside)
      2 or was this a regular door lock – when unlocked one could open it from the outside?
      3. Why did the police not jam something in the door when it opened?
      4. Surely a locksmith could have got in (They could’ve got a burglar out of the cells and asked him to break in via the back entrance)??????
      Any more info?

      • The door led downstairs to the basement/kitchen, not sure about it being self locking as it was always open when I serviced the restaurant, when the staff that escaped via this door were seen on TV they ran to the police with their arms up so the door wasn’t being monitored, given the training exercise they may have even had a key, maybe Monis was to escape via that door as he could have easily by the look of it, I should have some spare time next weekend so I’ll take a closer look.

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