If Iranian asylum seeker, come Islamic terrorist, Man Haron Monis, hadn’t been granted bail, then Lindt Chocolate Café manager Tori Johnson and customer Katrina Dawson (a respected lawyer) would still be alive, still be in doing coffee in Martin Place, and still have the rest of their lives ahead of them.
The Liberal Party’s ex-Attorney General Greg Smith and Premier Mike Baird have blood on their hands over this.
Liberal Bail Laws let terrorist Man Monis kill. They have destroyed the sanctity of Martin Place.
Both deliberately weakened the bail laws in New South Wales, which allowed a dangerous man charged with serious crimes to walk amongst our community freely.
Both also seem to be behind a subsequent personal arse-covering attempt to pressure the current enquiry into the Martin Place Terror attack (siege) by NSW Director of Public Prosecutions to stop the Sydney siege inquest looking at why the gunman, Man Haron Monis, was free on bail.
On 15–16 December 2014, Islamic extremist Man Haron Monis, held hostage ten customers and eight employees of the Lindt chocolate café in Sydney’s heart of Martin Place just up from the Cenotaph. Police treated the event as a terrorist attack and despite government orders to police marksmen not to shoot Monis at easy range, a 16-hour standoff ensued. Once it was realised that hostage, Tori Johnson, had been shot dead by Monis, local police Tactical Operations Unit stormed the café, which resulted in a second hostage, Katrina Dawson, being killed accidentally by a police bullet, as well as Monis being killed. Three other hostages and a police officer were injured by police gunfire during the raid.
The raid was bungled.
The gunman killed during the siege at the Lindt Chocolate Café in Sydney’s Martin Place was an Iranian cleric with a violent criminal past and known psychiatric problems.
Monis had been before the New South Wales courts on two separate and serious matters: more than 40 sexual assault charges involving seven alleged victims and as an accessory to the murder of his former wife. He had previously been convicted in 2013 over offensive letters he wrote to families of dead Australian soldiers.
Monis was initially refused bail on April 14, 2014 after being charged with three sexual assault offences allegedly committed against a woman in 2002. Yet he was released from custody on bail six days after weakening of the state’s bail laws came into effect in May 2014 effected by the New South Wales Liberal Party under the governance of then Attorney General Greg Smith and Premier smiling Mike Baird.
This is how two innocent Australians in an upmarket coffee shop in the heart of Sydney’s financial and legal district, lost their lives to a serial offender known to a government which dropped the ball and went soft on crime.
- On April 14, 2014 New South Wales Police charge Monis with three sexual assault charges, dating back to 2002. Bail is refused and Monis is remanded in custody. Monis has form for being charged with being an accessory to the murder of his former wife, for fraud in Iran, for postal offenses, links to extremist protests with Hizb ut-Tahrir, links to an outlaw motorcycle group.
- April 15, Monis appeared in Kogarah Local Court under the name Mohammad Hassan Manteghi where magistrate Christine Haskett refuses bail. At the time, Monis was already on conditional bail granted on December 12, 2013. He had been charged with being an accessory before and after the fact to the murder of his former wife Noleen Hayson Pal in April 2013.
- April 16, Monis did not apply for bail when he appeared in Parramatta Local Court and continued to be remanded in custody.
- May 20, the state government introduced sweeping changes to bail laws, removing the decades old presumption against bail for a suite of serious offences. Magistrates and judges were now to use a two-step test as to whether the accused posed an “unacceptable risk” of reoffending and whether the risk could be mitigated by bail conditions.
- May 26, Monis is granted bail at Parramatta Local Court by magistrate Joan Baptie. Ms Baptie said she had identified two “unacceptable risks” – that Monis may endanger the safety of victims, individuals or the community, and that he may interfere with witnesses or evidence.
- Oct 10, Monis is charged with a further 40 sexual assault charges against six women. They included 22 counts of aggravated sexual assault, 14 counts of aggravated indecent assault, one count of aggravated act of indecency, one count of sexual assault and two counts of assault with act of indecency. The women were visiting him at Wentworthville where he was offering services as a “spiritual healer”. His bail was continued by magistrate Dorelle Pinch. He was due to appear in Penrith Local Court on Friday, December 12.
- Dec12 was vacated and changed to February 27, 2015.
- Dec 15 Monis launches his ideological terror attack on Martin Place at Lindt Chocolate Café, instead of on Channel 7 – his initial vengeance target.
NSW Attorney General Greg Smith’s replacement Brad Hazzard said the government would ask state and federal agencies to examine “how this offender slipped through the cracks. How did this offender not come to the attention of state and federal agencies … what exactly did they miss?” he said.
NSW Premier Mike Baird later said bail laws may be tightened further following the investigation, adding the government would “do anything we possibly can” to ensure public safety.
But it’s too little, too late.
Martin Place – Australian innocence lost
Julia Quilter, senior lecturer at the University of Wollongong’s School of Law said, under the “unacceptable risk” model, the magistrate hearing Monis’ bail application could have refused bail, but chose to grant it. In retrospect we should have had alarm bells ringing about his unacceptable risks,” she said.
At a press conference on the Tuesday morning following the end of the siege, NSW Premier Mike Baird was asked whether he was concerned that the now dead gunman Monis had been out on bail.
Mike Baird: “I’m concerned that there was a vicious, horrendous attack that has taken place in the heart of our city, and there are many questions that will come in the coming hours, days and weeks. What I can assure you is I will answer every single one of them. We will get to the bottom of events and we will do everything possible to ensure we do not see happen again.”
Counsel assisting the inquest, Jeremy Gormly SC, told the court on Monday the bail issue would be considered as part of a session of hearings starting in August. At a preliminary hearing in January, he said: “Bail is a system that in part aims to prevent offenders from offending again and to ensure that they do not abscond before trial. Monis was on bail at the time of the siege. It is necessary to examine without hindsight how he came to be granted bail.”
But now Baird has ordered a cover up by his Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to stop the inquiry considering Man Haron Monis bail freedom. The DPP has just submitted an application to stop the inquest looking at the bail matters on some vague basis that the bail issue is “too wide” and outside the scope of the inquest.
That’s no reason. That is stonewalling. The inquest’s purpose is to examine a range of issues, including how “authorities responded” to his bail applications. Mr Gormly said that would involve looking at whether prosecuting authorities, the DPP, responded adequately to his bail applications.
Of course they didn’t. The DPP is culpable. New South Wales Attorney-General Brad Hazzard says that had the Liberals not weakened the bail laws, the gunman from the siege in Sydney would have already been in custody, no siege would have taken place and Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson would still be alive.
So this is why the taxpayer funded DPP is paying $8000 a day (taxpayers money) for a senior counsel to try to get the inquiry to avoid scrutinizing the Liberal Party’s weak bail laws. It is only about the self-preservation of bureaucrats who bungled.
It is a blatant political move to protect Baird’s Liberal mate and former NSW Attorney General Greg Smith who happened to have come from the senior ranks of the DPP. If this smells of Liberal boys club corruption then it probably is worse than the smell. And who politically is to gain from this?
Timeline to Terror – the authorities knew full well the risk to the public
October 28, 1996 – Monis arrives in Australia on a one month business visa.
November 4, 1996 – ASIO receives non terror related potentially adverse information about Monis.
November 5, 1996 – ASIO initiates an investigation and adds Monis to the Movement Alert List.
November 18, 1996 – Monis applies for a protection visa and remains on a bridging visa while his claim is considered.
March 26, 1997 – Monis is issued with a security licence, which at one point allowed him to carry a gun.
July 1997 – First welfare payments under the Asylum Seeker Income Support scheme begin being paid to Monis.
March 26, 1998 – Security licence renewed.
May 18, 1998 – Monis calls ASIO claiming to have information related to the Sydney Olympics.
January 22, 1999 – ASIO provides immigration with an adverse security assessment on Monis, assessing that his continued presence in Australia poses an indirect, and possibly a direct, risk to national security.
March 26, 1999 – Monis is issued a new security guard licence.
November 1999 – ASIO commences an investigation into Monis.
February 25, 2000 – ASIO conducts another security assessment interview of Monis. Following the interview, a formal assessment is undertaken and ASIO assesses that Monis does not pose a direct or indirect risk to national security and determines that there are insufficient grounds for issuing an adverse assessment.
August 23, 2000 – Monis is granted a Protection Visa.
February 13, 2001 – The government starts paying Monis the dole.
April 2001 – INTERPOL Canberra alerts Immigration that INTERPOL Tehran has advised that Monis (as Manteghi), who they believe is in Australia, is wanted by Iranian authorities for ‘fraud-related offences’. INTERPOL Tehran requests advice on the possible extradition of Monis.
May – December 2001 – Immigration requests that INTERPOL Tehran provide relevant documentation relating to the charges and advises there is no extradition treaty between Australia and Iran and that it is not possible to arrest Monis with the view to extradite him. Case finalised when no more information provided.
August 20-28, 2001 – Immigration investigates allegations (from another Protection Visa applicant from Iran) that Monis was involved in people smuggling, but finds insufficient information to continue the investigation.
August 2002-December 2003 – Monis allegedly commits sexual assault offences while representing himself as a spiritual healer and clairvoyant. He is not charged with any sexual offences until 2014.
October 11, 2002 – Monis applies for Australian citizenship
October 29 – November 5, 2003 – AFP investigates allegations by a community contact that Monis may be an Iranian Government intelligence officer deployed in Australia to gather intelligence and commit acts of violence against Australians.
January 27, 2004 – ASIO makes no adverse findings in relation to Monis’ citizenship application.
July 2, 2004 – Monis’ legal representative accuses immigration of delaying his citizenship request because he is Muslim.
September 1, 2004 – Monis advised his Movement Alert List entry will be deleted.
October 20, 2004 Monis is granted Australian citizenship.
July 15, 2005 – Monis calls the ASIO public line and claims to have urgent information relating to suicide attacks. ASIO meets him on the same day. Monis provides a hypothesis he has developed following the London bombings the week prior. He asks that this hypothesis be passed to UK and US intelligence agencies. Separately, Monis claims he has contacts with information on al-Qa’ida and other similar groups.
July 22-26, 2005 – Monis calls the UK High Commission, states he is a Muslim cleric and alleges that he has information about the London bombings.
February 2007 – Monis calls the ASIO public line and requests a meeting. During the meeting, Monis says he wants to become a teacher of Islam in the community so he has changed his name to be more readily identifiable as a Muslim. He says he intends to teach Muslim youth in order to steer them away from terrorism. To help achieve this he says he will temper his pro-Western views (sic) in order to connect.
2007 – Monis begins sending foul letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers.
February, 2008 – NSW Premier’s office refers a fax from Monis to the AFP regarding Monis’ previous warnings of potential terrorist-related attacks in Australia and his grievances with the AFP
March 20, 2008 – AFP identifies Monis as a person of interest in relation to the visit to Australia by Pope Benedict XVI for World Youth Days. He had previously displayed obsessive preoccupations and fixated interest in High Office Holders and dignitaries.
April, 2008 – Monis purports to write a ‘fatwa’ on his website, referring to US, UK and Australian heads of state as war criminals.
April, 2008 – ASIO commences an investigation into Monis given his continuing inflammatory public statements.
May 2008 – Monis posts a video clip titled ‘Suicide fatwa’ on his website in which a female protégé of Monis’ discusses ‘legitimate suicide attacks’.
June and July 2008 – Monis holds protests in Martin Place, Sydney relating to the concerns he raised previously about a Channel 7 ‘Sunrise’ program aired in July 2007.
August 2008 – In a post on his website, Monis objects to media reports that he had said Muslims were obliged to commit suicide bombings ‘when the enemy attacks’.
Late September, 2008 – Monis issues a statement on his website in support of the mujahidin in Pakistan, saying ‘I hope one day I will be able to Jihad in the higher levels as you do’.
November 6, 2008 – ‘Hizbullah Australia’ – a group registered by a close associate of Monis – sends a letter to the then Commonwealth Attorney-General (with copies to the then Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Foreign Minister and to ASIO) stating the group is now registered in Australia and hopes to begin activity as an Islamic organisation.
November 9, 2008 – Monis sends a letter to the families of the Bali bombers describing the bombers as martyrs. He writes that while he would like Australia to be safe, the Australian Government’s actions make it unsafe. He ‘promised’ Muslims would attack Australia, and Australians would be killed. ASIO assesses that, while this could be interpreted as Monis making a threat, it could equally be interpreted as him expressing his view that Australian Government policy could incite others to take action.
November 18, 2008 – The Queen is sent a DVD featuring a woman warning, on behalf of Monis, of threats to Australia. The AFP briefs the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions – no offences are identified.
December 5, 2008 – ASIO concludes Monis is not involved politically motivated violence or the promotion of communal violence. ASIO found: While [Monis] endeavours to use language that is ambiguous and open to interpretation, he makes sure not to cross any lines and tries to ensure he can protect himself from allegations of inciting terrorism.’
Throughout 2009 – Regular NSW Joint Counter-Terrorism Team (JCTT) meetings discuss Monis’ activities.
January 27, 2009 – JCCT Sydney commences an investigation into the offensive letters and DVDs Monis sent to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and High Office Holders.
March 12, 2009 – US Secret Service contacts the AFP about another DVD (with a purported ‘fatwa’ against President Obama) which Monis had sent to the US broadcaster NBC in December 2008. In June, JCTT Sydney briefs the Secret Service that Monis is not perceived as a terrorism threat, but that his actions may be causing offence to numerous people.
October 17, 2009 – Monis faxes NSW Police Force a media release on the possibility of a terrorist attack in Australia.
October 20, 2009 – The AFP arrest and charge Monis with seven counts involving postal offences in relation to sending offensive letters to families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. He is granted bail.
October 22, 2009 – Monis’ website is suspended at the request of the AFP.
October 31, 2009 – INTERPOL Tehran advises INTERPOL Canberra that Monis is still wanted by Iranian authorities in relation to fraud offences.
January 8, 2010 – Monis begins receiving Austudy. From now until 11 December 2014, he will alternate between periods of Austudy, periods of Newstart, pauses in payments while incarcerated, and periods where he did not seek support.
July 27, 2011 – Monis is charged with intimidating his now former partner. He is granted conditional bail and an interim Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is made. He was eventually found not guilty.
June 9, 2012 – Monis attends protests by Hizb ut-Tahrir outside the Iranian, Saudi and Turkish Embassies.
January, 2013 – Monis is reported to be linked to an outlaw motorcycle group.
April 18. 2013 – The AFP reviews Monis as part of a project identifying people who may be involved in, or connected with, the conflict in Syria and/or Iraq after his attendance at Syria-related protest activity. The AFP concludes that there is nothing to suggest Monis was directly linked to the conflict.
November 15, 2013 – NSW Police Force arrest and charge Monis with being an accessory to the murder of his former partner. Bail is refused and Monis is remanded in custody.
December 12, 2013 – Monis is granted conditional bail in relation to the accessory to murder charges and is released on 17 December 2013.
February 2014 – NSW Police Force, during the course of criminal investigations into Monis, seeks (through INTERPOL Canberra) a copy of Monis’ criminal history and information on a possible outstanding arrest warrant for Monis from INTERPOL Tehran.
March 2014 – INTERPOL Canberra provides fingerprints and other documents verifying Monis’ identity in March 2014. On 31 March 2014, INTERPOL Tehran advises that Monis does not have a criminal record in Iran, but was wanted for ‘defrauding Iranian citizens’.
April 14 -15. 2014 – NSW Police Force charge Monis with three sexual assault charges, dating back to 2002. Bail is refused and Monis is remanded in custody.
April 16, 2014 – Monis requests that the Parramatta Local Court investigate his allegation that NSW Police Force and ASIO are involved in the murder of his former partner. The request is denied.
May 26, 2014 – Monis is granted conditional bail for the sex offence charges and released the following day.
October 10, 2014 – Monis is charged with a further 37 sexual assault charges alleged to have occurred between 2002 and 2010. Bail for the previous indecent and sexual assault charges is continued for these new charges, with the additional condition that he is not to go near or try to contact any complainant or prosecution witness
December 9-12 2014 – Australia’s National Hotline receives 18 calls and emails relating to Monis. Each call or email drew attention to his Facebook page. All of these NSH calls and emails are referred to ASIO and the AFP (some are also forwarded to the NSW Police Force and Queensland Police) as they are received. ASIO assesses these Hotline reports on 9, 10 and 13 December, including a review of Monis’ public Facebook page by an ASIO analyst with relevant foreign language skills, and decided they do not indicate a desire or intent to engage in terrorism. Reports that were referred to NSW are also considered by the NSW Police Force on the days they were received, and by the AFP prior to the siege. Both police agencies consider the Facebook posts contain no indications of an imminent threat. Nor are the postings assessed to meet the threshold for prosecution under new ‘advocacy of terrorism’ legislation.
On 15–16 December 2014, serial Islamic extremist Monis, holds hostage ten customers and eight employees of the Lindt chocolate café in Sydney’s heart of Martin Place just up from the Cenotaph. Police treat the event as a terrorist attack and despite government orders to police marksmen not to shoot Monis at easy range, a 16-hour standoff ensued. Once it was realised that hostage, Tori Johnson, has been shot dead by Monis, local police Tactical Operations Unit stormed the café, which results in a second hostage, Katrina Dawson, being killed accidentally by a police bullet, as well as Monis being killed. Three other hostages and a police officer were injured by police gunfire during the raid.
Martin Place is never the same again. Those affected will never be the same again. Yet the culpable government has refused compensation.
And thumbing their noses at the spontaneous outpouring of public grief, where is any permanent memorial but hidden from the public view inside the Lindt Café.
Two cheap brass plaques – the Baird Government’s callous cleansing of truth, culpability and social history.