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Culprit of Sydney siege damaged goods former lawyer

first_imgThe man at the centre of this week’s Lindt hostage scene, Man Haron Monis, was a loner who longed for media attention for his political causes, his former lawyer Manny Conditsis told Neos Kosmos.Monis, who sought asylum in Australia because of his views and fears of persecution in his native Iran, held up the Lindt store in Sydney’s Martin Place, reportedly demanding an Islamic State flag and contact with Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The Greek connection was prevalent in the tragedy that claimed two innocent victims and felled Monis. One of his captives was barrister Stefan Balafoutis, who was one of five escapees just after 4.00 pm – long before the 17 hour ordeal ceased. Whilst Monis’ wife Amirah Droudis, a Greek convert to Islam, has been quoted in the Herald Sun as saying, “I regret to say I am a terrorist. I admit and formally confess that for many years I have been a terrorist but I’ll try not to be any more!”.Despite Droudis’ now-deceased husband forcing the display of a Shahada (Islamic creed) in the Lindt window, Conditsis, who acted for him between February 2013 and January 2014, believes these were the actions of a disillusioned individual, who had become mentally unstable after what he believed was a government conspiracy against him. “The point is there’s a lot of talk in the media about him having a violent history, that is 100 per cent incorrect. The only criminal conviction he has relates to the writing of the letters (to the families of deceased Australian soldiers),” Conditsis said.“This particular man is the only person that’s ever been charged under this particular section of the Postal Services Act with his partner, Amirah Droudis – no-one before and no-one since. The relevance of that is that feeds into his perception that these are trumped up charges, because of his criticism of the Australian government (and its involvement in the Middle East).”Monis left behind a wife and two daughters in Iran, and was granted political asylum in 2001. He was sentenced for his letters in September 2013, and has since been bailed on the very serious accessory to murder charge, of his former spouse, who Droudis was charged with the murder of. The fact that he was on bail has featured heavily throughout the week, amassing controversy.“It’s not common to get bail for such serious charges. But they both got bail because the case presented against them by the prosecution was a circumstantial case, but more importantly a weak circumstantial case. The magistrate agreed and that went a long way in them getting bail. And there’s been a lot of criticism ‘why should this man be out on bail?’ etc. Well it’s very easy to say two days ago this man did what he did, so he shouldn’t have gotten bail.”Since his bail he has also been charged with a string of sexual assault claims, some dating 10 years. He failed twice to have his only conviction overturned by the High Court of Australia – the first time resulting in a no majority (3:3) outcome, and the second, as recent as Friday of last week, resulting in a rejected claim for special leave to have his case reheard. Only three days later did the siege occur. Conditsis said Monis’ apparent grievances serve no justification for his inexcusable actions.“His actions are indefensible, they were horrific, appalling, heinous, whether he had any intention to kill anyone or not, but what is important is what was this all about? Was it part of a terrorist conspiracy? In my view, no it wasn’t.“My own thought process is that if he considered in his own mind that it was inevitable that he was going to go to prison, then I believe in his mind he was never going to allow himself to go to prison again and he now considered that he had nothing to lose, and that he was going to do something drastic to get media attention because he loved media attention for his cause.“I’ve got no doubt that when he made that decision to go in with a gun and hold people hostage he knew he was going to die, he was not coming out alive, because he would have known if he had come out he would have gone to prison for a very long time and he would not have allowed that to happen because of his past.”Accordingly, Monis’ past had led him to become a very secluded individual, shunned by both the Islamic and Iranian communities. Conditsis described him as a highly offensive character, whose connections with Islamic State should be given little to no weight. “If this was a terrorist act, and my understanding of a terrorist act is that those hostages would have been killed a long time before anything happened, and what’s important is no other organisation anywhere in the world has claimed any responsibility or connection with it.“I have my doubts that he had any intention of killing people, as distinct from holding them as hostages, which is bad enough … My point is if this guy wanted to kill people then why didn’t he? Assuming he killed the male, why didn’t he kill other people?”He reiterated the seriousness of his former client’s actions and that his comments were reflective of the character of the man he knew, and should not be interpreted as forming a defence. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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