The mother of murdered Lindt Cafe seige victim Tori Johnson has been left devastated, after an officer testifying at the inquest into the horrific event stated that terrorist Man Haron Monis 'had rights too.'
Following a fraught afternoon - which saw the officer, who cannot be named, offend family members by describing the siege as 'high stakes games', he dropped an even bigger bombshell.
Describing the factors that played in to police decisions on the day, the officer said: 'I had to make some crucial decisions to try and get the best outcome and that’s what I did on the night.
'I can’t ignore Man Monis as an individual. He had the same rights as anyone else.'
It was the end of an extraordinary day of testimony, with the officer earlier stating: 'These are high stakes games, your honour. There’s a lot at stake for the hostages and police.'
Counsel for Tori's family interjected: 'Sorry did you say, ‘Games’? Would you like to apologise to Tori Johnson’s family? There was not a game on the night.'
The commander conceded he'd chosen his words poorly, but the day's events were too much for Tori's mother Rosie, who abruptly left, labelling the officer 'an absolute disgrace'.
Cafe manager Tori, 34, was murdered by Monis during the siege, spurring police to storm the building, killing the terrorist. Mum Katrina Dawson, 38, was accidentally killed in the resulting police fire.