Lindt Café Inquest, Part 10: The Lead-up to the Siege

monis 2

by Mary W Maxwell

Part 1 of this series summarized an article entitled “Cui bono,” written by N Wahid Azal. It said Monis caused trouble for all Muslims in Australia. On the one hand, he gave Islam a bad image with his extremist statements. On the other hand they didn’t dare criticize, say, his “sticking up for” the people in the Middle East.

According to Azal there must have been something going on between Monis and the Australian government for years. He had many blemishes on his record that would cause anyone else to be refused permanent residence here.

Azal, writing at a website called The Syncretic Report, told us that Monis said in court that he was being “set up” by ASIO. I have not yet tracked that down to verify it.

However I came across the Martin Place security report published by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, jointly with the NSW office of Premier and Cabinet. It records that on April 16, 2014, Man Haron Monis:

“requests that the Paramatta Local Court investigate his allegation that NSW Police Force and ASIO are involved in the murder of his former partner. The request is denied.”

To put this in context I show it here with other items from that website: dpmc.gov.au. I’ll use only the part covering 2014:

Martin Place Siege – Joint Commonwealth – New South Wales Review, January 2015

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’.

The Iranian arrest warrant for Monis had lapsed but INTERPOL Tehran advise that Iranian authorities would issue a new arrest warrant if Monis were to be arrested in Australia. NSW Police Force request details of the expired arrest warrant. This was the last communication between INTERPOL Canberra and Tehran before the 15-16 December Martin Place incident.

14-15 April — NSW Police Force charge Monis with three sexual assault charges, dating back to 2002. Bail is refused and Monis is remanded in custody.

16 April — Monis requests that the Paramatta Local Court investigate his allegation that NSW Police Force and ASIO are involved in the murder of his former partner. The request is denied.

26 May — Monis is granted conditional bail for the sex offence charges and released the following day.

10 October — 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.

9-12 December — The NSH 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’s 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.

NSW Police Force and the AFP close the referral.

12 December — Monis appears in the High Court (in Sydney) seeking to appeal his conviction for postal offences. The High Court does not allow Monis to appeal having regard to the history of the matter, including that the constitutional issues have already been considered and resolved against Monis.

15-16 December — Martin Place siege.  (End of report)

Azal Was Correct

I have to agree with Azal’s article “Cui Bono?” at least in part.

The above list is only the recent part of a list that begins in 1996 when Monis entered this country on a business visa. He then sought asylum, saying he would be tortured if he went back to Iran. He was studied by ASIO but passed inspection every time, and in 2004 got Australian citizenship.

The report consists entirely of evidence, no doubt cherry-picked, that the government was always doing a great job of monitoring this unusual man. They said:

“Monis was the subject of many law enforcement and security investigations and assessments over the period of his residence in Australia. None of the results of these investigations, or the continuous assessment of information related to Monis in the intervening periods, provided any indication he had the intention to commit an act such as the Martin Place siege.”

You get the drift.  It goes on just like that, page after page. I’ll offer another bit, as it somehow reminds me of the Paul Mullen phenomenon:

“The NSW Chief Psychiatrist has reviewed the medical documentation and concluded that at no time in his multiple encounters with mental health professionals was Monis assessed to represent a potential risk to others or to himself, and at no time was it necessary to admit him to hospital for treatment of mental illness, or for him to receive coercive or more restrictive care.”

Among the brilliant “Recommendations” at the end is this:

“The Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Justice and NSW Police Force should develop a proposal for consideration by the NSW Government to require a bail authority to take into account an accused person’s links with terrorist organisations or violent extremism.”

Oh my.

In a Comment to Part 7 of this Gumshoe series, Davo said he keeps getting madder at the media for not asking good questions. Strictly speaking, the media is under no obligation to do any probing — but the persons who created the above 43-page report of absolute drivel are obliged.

The Deep State

N Wahid Azal traces everything to the Deep State, probably that which I usually call “the cabal.” Surely the “let’s not talk serious” tone of this Prime Minister and Cabinet document screams out that something is missing.

Note: I can’t imagine why its authors were candid enough to include the statement about Monis pointing the finger at police and ASIO for his ex-wife’s death. That has got to be worth something. It certainly suggests that Monis wanted free of his connections to police!

Early in 2015 I speculated that Monis was under orders from a covert agency to do all of his stunts. No one would ever think of writing to the parents of Australian soldiers who died in the Middle East to call them killers.

If a man such as Monis is motivated to punish someone for the destruction of Iraq or Afghanistan he’d come up with more practical targets, wouldn’t he?  When I myself am motivated “for a cause” I choose my battles according to what will have an effect.

Nothing could have helped Muslims by sending those letters.

Soldiers

In a June 8, 2016 Comment to Gumshoe, Eddy (who is a Vietnam veteran) said:

“Mary I’d like to shine the light on the issue of the alleged letters to Defence forces personal. I find it perplexing, how an individual like Monis obtained the personal addresses of these people. Their addresses are not publicized, and IMHO, can only be obtained via Electoral Roll, and even then, you may not have matched up the correct person with the right address.

So, how did he obtain these addresses ?????

I’m pretty confidant the Military did not provide them to him, and I certainly hope the media did not, (if they did, their motive needs scrutiny) funny how come no one’s ever asked that question.”

At 5.06pm on December 16, 2016, when the siege had only been over for 15 hours, News.com.au published some interviews with the parents who had got the letter:

“A FATHER who received abusive letters from the Martin Place gunman after the death of his soldier son has a surprising message for the self-styled sheik as another soldier’s family call for a review of the system.

“One of Monis’ early victims, Paul Marks, father of Lance Corporal Jason Marks who was killed while serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Uruzgan Province in 2008, said he pitied the gunman who sent him abusive letters.

‘I feel sorry for him, he is so twisted, to live with that hate,’ Mr Marks said.

“The mother of another Australian Digger killed in Afghanistan who also received vile and abusive letters from the fanatical gunman, Man Haron Monis, said the hostage tragedy should never have happened and the granting of bail to violent criminals must now be reviewed. Marjorie Worsley, whose son Private Luke Worsley was killed while also serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan in 2007, has expressed her deep sympathies to the families of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.

“Ms Worsley said her family lived in fear after they were harassed by Monis, who sent cruel, abusive and ideologically-motivated letters to their home address. ‘It really does make you worry, and you worry for your family’s safety when people know where you live and are able to send menacing letters, and have your phone number and call,’ she said.”

What Is This Gumshoe Series Aiming At?

The coronial inquest for the Lindt Café siege is due to wind up soon. The hearings will probably end in August, 2016.

Gumshoe News is trying to pass on some actual quotes from the witnesses, although the foregoing article contained only quotes from a government document that has not been presented to the Inquest.

Another goal (there will be at least 5 more articles in this series at Gumshoe) is to analyze the extent to which an inquest can, or cannot, get to the heart of the matter. As regards the Sydney siege, “the heart of the matter” may be of a government-criminal nature. In that case the usual formalities of an inquest may stand in the way of getting at the truth.

Yet that is not a foregone conclusion. The lawyers for the families could pop pertinent questions to the witnesses, and the coroner could expand his list of witnesses.

In a Comment to Gumshoe yesterday, concerning the Port Arthur massacre, Malcolm Hughes wrote:

“The big problem as I see it, is where do we start to try to get JUSTICE. It seems that whoever steps up to be an elected member of Parliament in Tasmania is immediately prepared to take on the mantle of a criminal. For nearly twenty years it has been pointed out to people in authority that the original court case was a complete farce, and the reasons why it was a farce, yet not one person in a position to right this wrong has come forward. We actually have several actors in this ‘kangaroo court’ proceeding who benefit from their wrong-doing, while the victim rots away in Risdon Prison.”

Stay tuned.

— Mary W Maxwell is a graduate of University of Adelaide Law School.

Photo credit: News.com.au

 

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Comments

  1. Mary, thank you for flying from Adelaide and taking the time to be one of the only “investigators” on the Siege saga.

  2. Your roving amanuensis is seated in the Governor Marie Bashir reading Room of the NSW state library. You’d never guess what’s going on in an upstairs room — a wedding! That’s carrying the love of books too far!

    I have now read the 1997 Port Arthur Seminar Papers and will report to you later. In a word: sickening.

    • For the record, dear Gumshoe readers, I dined in the Lindt after the library adventure. There were 38 people dining and 6 waiters, plus a barista, and a cashier who also sells the boxed candy. I could not see the kitchen to discern how many cooks they employ.

      I walked upstairs to the Ladies’ Loo — 10 steep stairs leading only to a dead end, no escape door, no articulation with other offices or floors. (The gent’s room is 4 steps downstairs, also a dead end, I think.)

      So I hereby recant my suspicion about escapes. As for the firewell it is a lot bigger then it looks on the video.

      • This is pretty unexciting reading but it may give a clue for the Lindt Inquest. I’m quoting “Port Arthur Emergency Response — Police Operations Center,” published in 1997 by Luppo Prins, the Assistant Commissioner of Tasmania Police:

        The Police Operations Center POC [pronounced ‘pock’] was located at the Hobart Police Headquarters Major Incident Room.

        The Police Command structure for management of the Port Arthur incident was essentially along the lines of a SACPAV terrorist incident. As assistant commissioner I took the position of Police Operations Commander.

        As POC I was responsible to the Police Commissioner [Richard McCreadie, I think] through the Deputy Commissioner for the overall management of the incident. The POC role is to provide direction and guidance to the Forward Commander, take important decisions requiring a higher level of authority and allocate resources…

        The specific role of the Operations Commander is laid down in detail in the Tas Police ‘Major Incidents Standing Operating Procedures.’ The major duties to be taken include:

        Arrange for the establishment and staffing with selected and trained personnel of a Police Operations Center (POC) and Police Forward Command Post…
        Consult with the State Crisis Centre and obtain policy and negotiation guidelines…. Request Defence Force Aid when necessary. — end of quote

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