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Ex-boyfriend in bid to stop NSW inquest

AAP logoAAP 5/09/2016 Miranda Forster

The last known person to see Sydney man Matthew Leveson alive has gone to the Supreme Court in a bid to stop an inquest he's been ordered to appear at.

Lawyers for Mr Leveson's former boyfriend Michael Atkins argued on Monday that the inquest into the 20-year-old's 2007 disappearance was unlawfully reopened, and that NSW Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott has no jurisdiction to continue the probe.

Mr Atkins' counsel April Francis said Mr Leveson's inquest, suspended in 2008 when Mr Atkins was charged with murder, was dispensed with in 2010 by then-deputy state coroner Paul McMahon after Mr Atkins was acquitted.

The original file has been lost, but Ms Francis pointed to a September 2010 note which she said showed Mr McMahon evoking the need for fresh evidence and saying that no further action was required.

But barrister David Kell for the NSW attorney-general argued the note was not proof Mr McMahon had dispensed with the inquest, and that the probe was only ever suspended.

Mr Leveson's family and friends were present in court for the legal argument.

"It's obviously a very important matter for the family, as one can imagine, to try to obtain information, and the continuation of the inquest is very important for this reason," Mr Kell said.

Justice Lucy McCallum reserved her decision while noting the inquest is due to resume on October 31.

In May, Ms Truscott ordered Mr Atkins to appear against his will at Mr Leveson's inquest, where he would be granted immunity from criminal prosecution.

Mr Leveson vanished without a trace after leaving Sydney's ARQ Nightclub with Mr Atkins in the early hours of September 23, 2007.

Ms Truscott said evidence links Mr Atkins to his boyfriend's death and he was likely to be able to give important evidence about the manner and cause of it.

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