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Senior British police to review Sydney cafe siege response
[SYDNEY] Five senior British police officers will review Australia's law enforcement response to a deadly Sydney cafe siege by a self-styled Islamic cleric, a state coroner's court said Wednesday.
Two hostages died in the siege in the heart of Australia's largest city in December 2014 and the 17-hour stand-off is the subject of an inquest in New South Wales state.
The five officers will be led by Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman who headed the review of the police response to the 2010 shooting rampage by taxi driver Derrick Bird in Cumberland in northwest England.
"The experts will examine large volumes of material, including witness statements, forensics, and CCTV and media footage of the event to determine whether the response was appropriate and adequate," a NSW Coroner's Court spokeswoman said.
They will table a detailed report before the inquest's next hearings on March 21, and are also expected to testify at the review.
The siege ended after tactical police stormed the building housing the cafe and killed Iranian-born gunman Man Haron Monis.
The inquest heard last January that ricochets from police gunfire killed one of the two hostages who died - 38-year-old barrister and mother-of-three Katrina Dawson.
The other hostage killed, 34-year-old cafe manager Tori Johnson, was shot in the back of the head by Monis after a group of hostages escaped from the Lindt cafe, the court also heard.
The inquest was told last year that the coroner was arranging for an independent assessment of the police response.
Australia lifted its terror threat alert level to high in 2014 amid concerns of attacks by individuals inspired by organisations such as the Islamic State group.