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Droudis 'pressured mother to film apology'

AAP logoAAP 9/08/2016 By Sophie Tarr

Lindt cafe gunman Man Haron Monis and his partner Amirah Droudis forced her "desperately sick" mother to apologise on camera after the older woman spoke to police investigating the murder of Monis's ex-wife, a Sydney court has heard.

Droudis will face a judge-alone trial in the NSW Supreme Court next week accused of stabbing Monis's ex-wife to death before dousing her body in petrol and setting it alight inside the Werrington unit complex where Monis was subletting in April 2013.

Senior crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC argued that the "apology video", which he said was found on Droudis's mobile phone, ought to be admitted into evidence because it helped demonstrate the extent to which she was in Monis's thrall.

"(In this video), a woman who, at the time, was desperately ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is saying how ill she is and yet Ms Droudis is participating with Mr Monis in extracting and filming an apology from her mother for not doing the right thing in what she had told police shortly after the murder," Mr Tedeschi told a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday.

"It shows her willingness to put extreme pressure on her desperately sick mother."

It is the crown case that Monis was able to convince Droudis, 37, to kill his ex-wife, who can't be named for legal reasons, after trying and failing to hire Rebels bikies to commit the murder.

Droudis was "besotted" and utterly dominated by Monis and willing to do his bidding, the court has heard.

Mr Tedeschi said there was also evidence that Monis took out a flood insurance policy on the contents of his second-storey Werrington unit two weeks before his ex-wife was murdered.

"The crown case is that Mr Monis anticipated that a fire would take place within his unit, that the fire brigade may well come, and there may be water damage to the contents of his unit," Mr Tedeschi said.

One or two days later, he said, Droudis took out an identical policy on the contents of her inner western Sydney home.

"The crown case is that this was done as an attempt to disguise the taking out of Mr Monis's policy," he said.

"This was to enable them to say oh, well, we took out two policies."

The case returns to court on Wednesday.

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