A Four Corners spe­cial sees host Sarah Fer­gu­son look into the coro­nial in­quest’s find­ings into the ter­ror at­tack in Syd­ney’s Martin Place, writes COLIN VICK­ERY

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV GUIDE -

IT is six o’clock at night and Man Haron Mo­nis, armed with a 12-gauge, pump-ac­tion shot­gun has been shut­tered inside the Lindt Café in Syd­ney’s Martin Place with 18 hostages since 8.30am. Eight and a half hours later, café man­ager Tori John­son had been mur­dered, prompt­ing police to storm the build­ing - killing Mo­nis, and trag­i­cally, fa­tally wound­ing lawyer and hostage Ka­t­rina Dawson in the cross­fire. Now, in the fi­nale of two-part spe­cial on the coro­nial in­quest’s find­ings, host and se­nior cor­re­spon­dent Sarah Fer­gu­son claims it was the latenight de­ci­sions made by police which turned the siege deadly. “The police were telling ev­ery­body that it (siege) was go­ing to be re­solved peace­fully [but] what emerges …is in­flex­i­bil­ity in the police ap­proach. “Even though it had been de­clared a ter­ror­ist event, it was be­ing treated (by police) as a do­mes­tic (vi­o­lence) event,” Fer­gu­son says. “The police had a choice. They could send in the high­ly­trained, anti-ter­ror­ism tac­ti­cal force to res­cue the hostages. They chose not to do that.

“They said they would only go in if there was an emer­gency. What was pro­foundly shock­ing for the fam­i­lies (at the in­quest) was that they set that trig­ger (to go in) at death or se­ri­ous in­jury.”

Much of the power of part one of this story came from Fer­gu­son’s in­ter­views with mem­bers of the John­son and Dawson fam­i­lies.

“Tori and Ka­t­rina were very spe­cial peo­ple and you can see it re­flected in their fam­i­lies,” Fer­gu­son says.

“None of them went into the in­quest for retri­bu­tion. They went in look­ing for truth and the courage of all authorities in­volved to ad­mit they made mis­takes. They saw none of it, so the ex­pe­ri­ence for them was very tough.

“We (at Four Corners) wanted to lay out a rig­or­ous, foren­sic ac­count of what hap­pened. I want peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence this event through the eyes of these fam­i­lies and un­der­stand what that was like.”


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