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Coroner's Hearing Into Bourke Street Attack Begins

Exactly six months since rampage

Coroner's Hearing Into Bourke Street Attack Begins

(Youtube/SBS/Getty Images)

The first coroner's hearing into the Bourke Street Mall attack will be held at 10am on Thursday, six months after the horrifying incident.

At the public hearing, state Coroner Sara Hinchey will hear an opening statement and submissions on what the next steps of the investigation should be.

It's a precursor to the inquest announced on January 21.

Possible issues which could be raised include police objections to the current 'no pursuit' policy.

Accused killer Dimitrious Gargasoulas had been chased by police after allegedly stabbing his brother and taking his girlfriend hostage hours before the tragic Bourke Street attack.

At 11:45am armed officers tried to pull him over on the Bolte Bridge, however the pursuit was called off because he was driving dangerously.

"We are stronger than this evil criminal act."

- Premier Daniel Andrews

The inquest will run parallel to the police investigation, which includes scores of witness statements, CCTV and witness footage, concerns about Gargasoulas' mental state and the length of time to trial.

He's yet to enter a plea.


BOURKE ST: ABC News

Gargasoulas , 26, is accused of mowing down dozens of people when he drove his Holden Commodore through the shopping strip.

Six people were killed and over 30 injured.

Those who lost their lives include baby Zachary Bryant, schoolgirl Thalia Hakin, 10, father Matthew Si, 25, Sydney woman Jess Mudie, 22, finance consultant Bhavita Patel, 33, and Japanese man Y. Kanno, 25.

The parents of Zachary, who was just three months old, issued a heartbreaking tribute to their son in the wake of the tragedy.

"He leaves us with the best three months and 14 days of wonderful memories spent in this world," they said.


AFTERMATH: Reuters

Gargasoulas fronts court on six counts of murder and 29 of attempted murder for a special mention on August 1. On July 10 detectives shut down a large part of the CBD in order to carry out "detailed mapping" of the assault.

Despite this, there are concerns the matters may not reach the trial stage in the Supreme Court until 2019. 

WHAT IS AN INQUEST?: 
- It is a court hearing into multiple deaths and is generally open to the public
- It is not an adversarial process with a prosecutor and a defendant: it is an inquisitorial process that seeks to find out why the death/s occurred
- Coroners cannot attribute blame
- The coroner's role is to identify the person/s who have died and how the death occurred. This includes cause and circumstances
- It will culminate in a written finding from the coroner: this may include written recommendations to a Minister, public statutory authority or entity to help prevent similar deaths

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