CHRISTOPHER BETTS DEATH INQUEST
The only witness to a bodyguard's death at the Australian embassy in Iraq has countered the claims of multiple colleagues, denying sloppy weapons handling and booze were a factor in the shooting.
Sun McKay told an inquest he had not lied about the events of the night Christopher Betts, 34, died in order to protect his job.
Mr Betts was shot in the head in Mr McKay's Baghdad dorm room on May 12, 2016.
"My main goal was to try and protect Chris. If it had been an accident maybe the insurance would pay his family," he told the Brisbane Coroners Court on Friday.
The medic and bodyguard to two Australian ambassadors stood by what he'd told investigators after the shooting - saying Mr Betts "actioned" the Glock 17 pistol, held it to his head and said "it's time to play clear or not clear" before pulling the trigger.
Australian Federal Police found Mr Betts' death was self-inflicted but could not determine if the cause was suicide or misadventure.
"I was thoroughly confused about what was going on, what his intentions were ... as soon as his finger went on the trigger, I thought there's something really wrong here," Mr McKay told the inquest.
"I am certain if he was just f***ing he would have just stopped and looked at me ... to see what reaction he got (but) I am sorry he did it incredibly quick."
Mr McKay denied the claims of six other Unity Resources Group embassy security contractors, who told the inquest he had previously pointed guns at colleagues while drinking, which was forbidden.
He said he had superior weapons skills to most of his colleagues, many of who he described as "spuds" or "clock punchers".
He also said guns were an extension of his body.
Mr McKay denied he and Mr Betts had been "doing pistol work" and didn't know whether the weapon was loaded before his friend died.
He said he and Mr Betts had a quiet night after a few drinks and discussed Mr Betts' dog, car and Fraser Island ahead of flying out of Iraq on break the next day.
However, former URG nurse and ex-NSW police officer Tanya Ferrai has described Mr McKay as a "loose cannon" who drank a cocktail of vodka, Redbull, cough mixture and Valium about four nights per week.
Another former colleague and Mr Betts' best friend, Luke Duncan, told the inquest Mr McKay messaged him about a day after the shooting and played down the incident.
Mr Duncan said he didn't think Mr McKay's text was genuine.
"I thought it was more of an arse-covering thing," he said.
URG team leader, Simon Hansen, described Mr McKay as a "very proficient" weapons handler, who always followed the rules.
"I'd never ever had a problem ... he was a pretty good operator," he said.
URG has not co-operated with the inquest but former employees have told the inquest managers tolerated the culture of drinking despite the contract with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade being "dry".
The inquest has concluded and the coroner is expected to deliver his findings in January.