Police risked murder charge if they shot Man Haron Monis

POLICE sharpshooters could have been charged with murder if they shot Lindt Cafe siege gunman Man Haron Monis, it has been revealed.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch told an inquest into the siege that police could not have fired until they were certain the hostages faced a real risk of death or injury.

"I truly believed that he wouldn't hurt the hostages," Mr Murdoch said.

"Clearly I was wrong, but at that particular point in time I believed what I believed."

Three people, including Monis, were killed in the stand-off.