The Courier-Mail

Mag­is­trate obliged to free Mo­nis on bail

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THE mag­is­trate who granted Man Haron Mo­nis bail two months be­fore the deadly Lindt Cafe siege had no op­tion af­ter his “hands were tied” by the pros­e­cu­tor, the in­quest into the siege was told yesterday.

A panel of le­gal ex­perts said the only way the mag­is­trate at Pen­rith Lo­cal Court could have locked up Mo­nis on Oc­to­ber 10 last year was if the pros­e­cu­tor had ap­plied for his de­ten­tion un­der ex­ist­ing bail laws.

But the NSW Gov­ern­ment pros­e­cu­tor, whose iden­tity has been sup­pressed, made a deal with the de­fence lawyer be­fore Mo­nis ap­peared in court on a charge of be­ing an ac­ces­sory to the mur­der of his wife and 40 sex­ual as­sault charges.

The lawyers agreed the mag­is­trate would be told Mo­nis posed an “un­ac­cept­able risk” which could be mit­i­gated by strict bail con­di­tions and there­fore he would be freed.

How­ever, the ex­pert panel was of the unan­i­mous view a de­ten­tion ap­pli­ca­tion should have been made so it was “at least pos­si­ble” that Mo­nis would have been re­fused bail.

So­lic­i­tor Jane San­ders, a mem­ber of the panel, said the pros­e­cu­tor’s agree­ment had “bound” the court.

“And the pros­e­cu­tor was in ef­fect ty­ing the mag­is­trate’s hands,” she said.

The in­quest con­tin­ues.

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TOP­PING UP: Jason Bos and El­lie Brit­tain model Top­shop cloth­ing.
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