Coroner issues rare public statement about Sydney siege 17



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Today marls the anniversary of the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney, and the NSW State Coroner has warned that it will be and “extremely difficult” day for the those who were touched by the incident.

In a rare public statment, Coroner Michael Barnes offered his deepest sympathy to the families of victims Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson.

“In the days following the siege, we saw a monumental outpouring of emotion as thousands of people paid their respects to Katrina and Tori and Martin Place,” Mr Barnes said, as reported by AAP.

“One year on, we need to remember these feelings will not have subsided, particularly for those impacted by the siege.

“In some instances, it could be worse.”

Mr Barnes said families who have lost loved ones deal with their loss in their own way and need support. “You cannot put time limits on grief,” he said.

Mr Barnes is leading the complex inquest into the siege at the cafe in Martin Place, one of the largest and most complex inquests in Australia.

The coroner acknowledged that the inquest has been “a challenging and confronting process for the families of Tori and Katrina”, being the first to examine a potential act of terrorism. But he says those left behind have a right to know.

“These endeavours are justified because the families of Katrina and Tori are entitled to know whether the incident could have been managed in a way that would have avoided their deaths,” he said.

“Further, the people of Sydney deserve reassurance that the law enforcement and intelligence agencies will, whenever possible, prevent similar incidents occurring in future and, if it is not possible, the response will be in accordance with world’s best practice.”

The inquest is due to be completed mid-next year.

A police operation and a ceremony will be held in Sydney tonight at 8.15pm in Martin Place between Phillip and Elizabeth streets.

Today, join us in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of Tori and Katrina, and the police and civilians who  were affected by the siege. 

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  1. No one ever expected that something like that could happen in this beautiful country of ours, this was a very sad day in Australia’s history and I think it is the start of more to come. We as a nation must do more to put a stop to all violence in Australia and hopefully the world will follow.

  2. The start of more to come? Really Trish? This country was built on violence and oh how quickly and conveniently we forget. The Port Arthur massacre, the whiskey Au go go firebombing, Ivan Milan and his little hunting hobby, the attempted assassination of the opposition leader Arthur Caldwell just to name a few from fairly recent times in history. Oh but then they weren’t perpetrated by a Muslim so don’t count as violence do they? A look atthe history books would reveal more murder mayhem and violence.

    7 REPLY
    • when I think about it, even Australia’s start was a violent one for the Aboriginals and for the convicts

    • Yes Australia has seen this violence before and I’m glad you reminded us of this. The port Arthur massacre was one of the worst in the world. A crazed gun man but the Sydney siege was hyped up into a terrorist act by liberals because it justified there stance against Muslims. I do often wonder if it was handled differently what the outcome would have been. May all those who have fallen victim to this madness rest in peace.

    • All tragedies are to be acknowledged for what there are/were. But the Sydney seige was based on a belief, unlike the others. The treatment of our first nation people in the past was never endorsed by Queen Victoria and her successers, and for most part not part of the laws of the Commonwealth, its states and territories. Australia has made some significant changes in these areas.

    • Joseph Lynne Elias So as the inquest has not been completed and has several months to run you will let the Coroner know to finish it today as you have the answers. Based on a belief? Have you ever read about Port Arthur and Bryant’s beliefs? I will wait for the conclusion of the Inquest although in my heart I know from evidence so far we were subjected to a mad man on our streets who should never have been there.

    • True sandy , but I think your missing the point a little . Maybe it’s the first time we have had a religious murder . He was Muslim , that’s a religion, NOT a nationality .

  3. Not going to get political – today is not the day. Just pay my respects to all involved – to those so tragically killed and to those who survived. Sydney shares your heartache. You are not alone. We remember.

  4. We have days to remember many things with respect.
    Let’s remember those who died today…..
    Let’s be grateful for the Police and the handling of the horrid situation they dealt with

    You can’t change the yesterday’s. Let’s hope we don’t as a nation have to deal with this type of tragedy again.

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