A psychiatrist giving evidence at the inquest into the Lindt cafe siege has created controversy by saying two of the hostages had developed an “excessive or gratuitous alliance” with gunman Man Haron Monis that may have hampered the police effort to free them.
The unidentified doctor, who was working with police negotiators during the 2014 crisis, told the inquest yesterday that he believed Selina Win Pe and Marcia Mikhael were becoming “increasingly dramatic” during calls to police, reports The Australian.
via Channel 7.
He suggested that a listening device planted within the cafe revealed that the situation was "not as dramatic as they made out".
“I don’t know if they were posturing or they weren’t but they certainly weren’t helping,” he said.
The psychiatrist also suggested the women had begun exhibiting signs of Stockholm Syndrome - a condition in which hostages develop empathy for their captor.
“They were very supportive of his (endeavours) to procure a [Islamic state] flag,” he said according to The Daily Telegraph. “They … were very denigrating of police efforts.”
Mikhael saw it differently. The former Westpac project manager previously admitted to the inquest that she swore at negotiators because she was frightened what would happen if authorities didn't meet Monis' demands.
“When you are under pressure and think you are going to die … I couldn’t see why it was so difficult to get a flag … you don’t say that to someone who has a gun pointed at their head,” she said. “(I felt like) I was a piece of nothing and I am going to die and no one cares.”
The inquest continues.