You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top NSW cops to front Lindt inquest

AAP logoAAP 1/08/2016

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and the state's two other most senior cops will front the Lindt Cafe inquest to answer questions about their actions during the Sydney siege.

NSW coroner Michael Barnes wants to find out whether any of the top ranking officers inappropriately meddled, or failed to intervene when they should have, during the deadly Martin Place stand-off.

Taking the witness box on Tuesday will be the force's head of counter-terrorism, Deputy Commissioner Cath Burn, and the then acting commissioner Jeff Loy.

Central to questions levelled at Ms Burn will be a phone conversation she had with Commander Mark Jenkins at 10.50pm on December 15, 2014, after the siege had dragged on for 13 hours.

The inquest has heard the pair discussed progress in negotiations, which had reached a stalemate.

Ms Burn is also likely to be questioned about the circumstances surrounding a profile on gunman Man Haron Monis she was provided with about six hours into the Sydney siege.

Taking the stand on Wednesday will be Mr Scipione, who spoke with Mr Jenkins at 10.57pm.

A police scribe alongside Mr Jenkins at the time wrote down, "DA plan to occur as a last resort - COP (Commissioner of Police)".

The letters "DA" referred to a direct action plan which would have seen officers storm the stronghold at a time of their choosing in a bid to catch Monis by surprise.

A DA produced during the stand-off was never approved, with a number of tactical commanders and officers since telling the inquest it would have been their preferred option.

Officers ultimately stormed the stronghold and shot Monis dead in an "emergency action" after cafe manager Tori Johnson was executed, with hostage Katrina Dawson also fatally wounded in the assault.

Families of the slain hostages requested in June that the senior officers be called to front the inquest.

In the weeks following the siege, NSW Premier Mike Baird praised Ms Burn as a key officer during the operation for whom he had "nothing but admiration, respect and gratitude for the incredible work she did".

However, all three will deny playing crucial roles in the stand-off.

"The position of Mr Scipione, Ms Burn and Mr Loy is that they did not give any order, direction or provide any guidance or advice in respect to the conduct of the siege," Dr Ian Freckelton QC, counsel for NSW Police, told the inquest in July.

British terrorism expert Simon Chesterman, who led an expert review into the Sydney stand-off, said on Friday that executive police officers should not meddle in tactical decisions during hostage sieges.

The inquest continues on Tuesday.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon