Sunday, June 20, 2021
HomeWorld‘Lone wolf’ Australian hostage-taker had violent, unsettled past

‘Lone wolf’ Australian hostage-taker had violent, unsettled past

The self-styled sheikh behind a siege at a Sydney cafe had been charged as an accessory to murder and with multiple sexual offences. He also harboured deep grievances against the Australian government and had found little kinship in the city’s large Muslim community, where he was seen as deeply troubled.

Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee described by those who knew him as a loner, was killed early on Tuesday after heavily armed police stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe to end a 16-hour hostage drama that made global headlines.

Last year Monis was charged as an accessory to the stabbing murder of his ex-wife, who was set alight in a Sydney apartment block. He was charged this year with more than 40 counts of sexual or indecent assault against women in Sydney, according to court documents.

He was also found guilty in 2012 of sending threatening letters to the families of eight Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and sentenced to two years in prison, although he served only a portion of that penalty.

Those charges and the conviction, as well as public statements Monis made on his website, have raised questions in Australian media about whether authorities should have done more to monitor him.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters that Monis was well known to police. When asked by a journalist whether it was appropriate for Monis to have been granted bail for the murder charge, New South Wales state Premier Mike Baird declined to comment.

Most Popular

- Advertisment -