The alleged failure to treat an Indigenous man’s brain juries sustained during incarceration will be the subject of a week-long coronial inquest to begin early next year.
Mr Freeman was found dead in his cell in Canberra’s Alexander Maconochie Centre in May, 13 months after being badly bashed while on remand and spending a week in hospital in an induced coma.
The lawyer for Mr Freeman’s family – Bernard Collaery – has questioned whether a failure to deal with his brain injuries cost him his life.
Mr Collaery is also questioning why the ACT sought access to bio-material without consulting the family, an issue which raises cultural sensitivities.
A recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody advises families should be notified when a sample is taken.
Expert advice will be sought during the inquest to examine whether Mr Freeman’s neurological issues following the near-fatal bashing and an alleged failure to treat them led to his death.
A report into Mr Freeman’s treatment released last month recommended better security and more cameras be placed in the Canberra jail.
The matter will return to court in January.