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Lindt cop denies giving untrue evidence

AAP logoAAP 26/07/2016 By Daniel McCulloch

A police officer who stormed the Lindt Cafe during the frantic final moments of the Sydney siege has been accused of not telling the truth about how and when he fired his gun.

The tactical operative, known only as Officer B, has faced a second day of grilling about how he discharged his firearm during the deadly siege in December 2014.

Michael O'Connell SC, acting for the family of hostage Katrina Dawson, who was killed in the crossfire, challenged the officer about varying accounts of the shots he fired once inside.

Officer B has said he now has a "crystal clear" recollection of storming the cafe and firing five shots at gunman Man Haron Monis in a single burst and insisted he did not fire after being knocked to the ground by shrapnel.

Mr O'Connell on Wednesday said members of another tactical operations team, who burst into the cafe through another door, have given accounts of shots being fired as they entered.

He seized on an email from Officer B's lawyer sent to the counsel assisting the coroner in March.

An excerpt from the email, read aloud to the inquest, described the officer having "no recollection of whether he discharged all five rounds from his rifle in one burst or whether he discharged them in any particular grouping or sequence".

The inquest has heard the man initially told another officer he thought he had fired, within hours told another he did not fire, and days later told investigators he couldn't say either way.

Officer B has said the scene only became clear in his mind on a long drive through the country about a fortnight after the siege.

But Mr O'Connell said the officer had given varying accounts on whether or not he fired, where he fired from once inside the cafe, and exactly how he discharged his rifle.

"The reason you have changed your account in the ways we've just gone through is because the account you've provided has not been truthful," he said.

The officer flatly rejected the accusation, accepting that while his recollection had earlier been tainted by trauma and shock, the events were now perfectly clear in his mind.

"I fired all my rounds when I was standing, sir, because I did not fire once I got up," he said.

Officer B said if he'd fired his weapon after being knocked down he would have hit members of his own team, who were by that stage advancing towards the dead body of Monis.

Later, counsel assisting, Jeremy Gormly SC said it was probable the officer denied using his weapon, or said he couldn't remember, in the hours after the siege.

"It's more probable than not that the assertions made in the statements (of an inspector and an ambulance officer) would be correct," Mr Gormly said.

The inquest continues.

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