At a directions hearing at the Coroners Court of Victoria on Tuesday, Coroner Darren Bracken was told the Australian Federal Police were yet to receive any documentation from Mozambique police.
Lawyer Andrew Yuile, representing the AFP, said officers had contacted the director-general of Mozambique police’s criminal investigation bureau and the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) in December asking for information on the investigation, including the short- and long-term prospects of anyone being charged.
“The AFP has since received an acknowledgement of the letter being received. But until now they have not provided any substantive response,” Mr Yuile said.
“They say they are still working on it locally but no further information or formal answer to the question or requests has been provided. We are in the hands of the Mozambique authorities.”
Lawyers for the AFP also applied for some parts of the coroner’s brief of evidence to remain secret from the public, arguing the release of sensitive information could damage foreign relations and risk affecting “ongoing” criminal investigations into Ms Warren’s death.
In 2019 Ms Warren’s father, Paul Warren, told 60 Minutes an initial police report said his daughter died of a drug overdose, but when toxicology reports found no drugs in her system the cause of death was changed.
Authorities later said an autopsy found Ms Warren died of asphyxiation. She was also found with sand in her lungs and bruising and abrasions to parts of her body.
More than four years on, no charges have been laid and the Mozambique police investigation remains ongoing, the Coroners Court heard.
Both Ms Warren’s father and her stepfather, David Cafarella, were present at Tuesday’s hearing.
The matter is due to return to the Coroners Court later this year. No date for an inquest has been fixed but it is anticipated to run mid-2021.
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Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.