Cops, victims clash ahead of Lindt report

Jamie McKinnell

The NSW police minister has declared he has the highest confidence in the state's force before the coroner hands down his findings into the Lindt cafe siege which the victims' families say was blighted by police incompetence and mistakes.

NSW Coroner Michael Barnes will on Wednesday deliver his findings from the 23-week inquest into the December 2014 tragedy that claimed the lives of cafe manager Tori Johnson and barrister Katrina Dawson.

The inquest heard from more than 120 witnesses on everything from the checkered past of gunman Man Haron Monis and the fact he was out on bail despite serious charges to chilling hostage accounts of their 17-hour nightmare.

Witnesses also gave evidence on the actions of specialist police carrying out a "contain and negotiate" strategy.

Mr Barnes last year warned of the dangers of "hindsight bias" and the need to avoid ascribing blame, saying commentary to the contrary was "either mischievous or ill-informed".

But in the days before the 600-page report is released, fingers are being pointed at the police and the Department of Public Prosecutions which allowed Monis out on bail.

The Dawson and Johnson families have attacked police management for ordering officers not to storm the cafe until a hostage was seriously injured or killed.

"I just can't forgive people for that trigger," Mr Johnson's mother, Rosie Connellan, told the ABC.

"It's just beyond me."

Ms Dawson's mother Jane added: "It's outrageous", while Mr Johnson's partner, Thomas Zinn, said he no longer trusts police "because of the great level of incompetence that has been revealed".

But Police Association of NSW acting president Tony King on Monday said police were subjected to a media circus and a witch hunt.

"Instead of a sober inquisitorial process it descended into an adversarial attack," he wrote in a piece to the state's 16,500 serving officers.

"Instead of a search for the truth we witnessed taxpayer funded lawyers on a frolic, cross -examining police officers as if they were on trial."

Officers were forced to smash their way into the cafe in the early hours of December 16 after Monis executed Mr Johnson. Ms Dawson died after being struck by multiple fragments of police bullets during the bloody shoot-out.

Police Minister Troy Grant weighed in on Tuesday, saying officers who were following directions should never be criticised.

"I have the highest confidence in our police force in NSW, they are all human, but they are highly trained and they do stack up with their skills and abilities," he said.

"There were police officers during this occasion that went through that door not expecting to come out alive."

There would also be lessons for legal entities and the federal government, he added.

Those are likely to involve how Monis received bail in the months before his attack despite being charged with being an accessory to murder and 43 counts of sexual assault and indecent assault.

"The fact that the DPP didn't oppose bail was extraordinary," Ms Dawson's father Sandy told the ABC.

Mr King was also scathing that the DPP escaped scrutiny at the inquest.

"He was out on bail despite serious charges," he said in his message to police.

Iranian-born Monis, a self-professed Muslim cleric, came to the attention of ASIO during the late 1990s and 2000s but was assessed to not be involved in politically-motivated violence nor pose a threat to national security.

A segment of the inquiry that examined ASIO's involvement and information-sharing across agencies was held during closed hearings and that section of the report will be kept private.