Complainants feared Monis would curse them

The prosecutor handling the bail application of Lindt Cafe gunman Man Haron Monis was told complainants against him feared he had spiritual powers and would curse them.


The inquest into the deadly Sydney siege last December has again focused on exchanges between the prosecutor and Detective Senior Constable Denise Vavayis from the Sex Crimes Squad who led the investigation into sexual assault allegations against Monis.

Ms Vavayis told the inquest that she put her concerns about Monis being granted bail to the Department of Public Prosecutions, but was told there was little chance of his bail being revoked.

Monis was given bail three times in the year before the December, 2014 siege; in December 2013 after being charged for being an accessory to murder; in May 2014 for three counts of sexual assault; and in October, 2014 when 40 more sexual assault charges were laid.

Ms Vavayis said police did not arrest Monis because it would have potentially been deemed unlawful.

“At the end of the day you cannot arrest for the purposes of re-determining bail,” she said.

Ms Vavayis said Monis was complying with his bail at the time, and “was in attendance for every court date he was required to be at”.

“We would be heavily criticised and potentially deemed as an unlawful arrest if we had arrested him under those circumstance.”

But she insisted she passed on her reservations to the DPP prosecutor about Monis being on bail.

“I told (the prosecutor) the fear of complainants was that Mr Monis had spiritual powers and would curse them.”

Ms Vavayis said the prosecutor acknowledged those fears, but said they were cultural in nature.

The prosecutor told her that while charges against Monis were numerous, they were historic in nature “and not sufficient to petition the court to change the bail”, the inquest heard.

The parents of Katrina Dawson and the mother of Tori Johnson were in court to hear evidence.

Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson lost their lives during the siege at the Lindt Cafe.

The hearing continues.