Lookie, if you have a Harley Davidson you can buy apparel with ’tude.
by Mary W Maxwell
Many is the tale about Man Haron Monis’ background. At the time he died he stood convicted of one crime – the one about sending letters to soldiers’ families. (The crime is based on misuse of the postal service!).
He also stood accused of being an accessory to the murder of his EXwife, and was on bail for that. We’ve read that charges have been laid as to sexual assaults that he made on clients who came into his “spiritual healing” business. I don’t know if that got as far as the courts – probably not as the alleged offenses occurred many years ago, outside the statute of limitations.
In any case, it came up at Amirah Droudis’ trial that while Monis was in prison he had the chance to attempt to hire a killer. No one has ever claimed that Monis put out a hit on his EXwife (at least that didn’t come up while I attended court). But a witnesses in the prison reportedly says that Monis asked someone to kill the partner of the EXwife.
Moreover, it was said in court, but no witness appeared for this bit, that Monis (when outside of prison) tried to “price” a hit on his sons’ grandparents! — that is, the Mom and Dad of EXwife. Hmm. It’s the rare son-in-law who would want to remove the best babysitters in the world – grandparents.
It worries me that none of this hire-a-killer gossip was put to the test of cross-examination. It could all be nonsense. And someday the boys may have to cope with all that gossip. Zheesh!
(Think about it, your Dad was accused of masterminding the stabbing of your Mom, and he also considered getting rid of your two grandparents and your step-father).
The Rebels Bikies Gang
The prosecutor, Mr Tedschi (he of the special wig) — or maybe it was the Defender, Mr Ierace (similar wig) — brought to the witness stand a police detective, Melanie Staples, to report on Monis’ attempts to join the Rebels.
She said that Monis had bought a Harley Davidson and cozied up with officials of at least two chapters of the Rebels bikie group, getting as far as “pre-nom” — the stage before membership.
The bikie (outlaw gang) association made it possible for Monis to yet again chat about a hit man contract. Ms Staples happened to say that she had asked some of the key people to make a statement “but Bikies traditionally refuse to give any police statements.” Well, well. Fancy that
As this case is not being handled in an analytical way – perhaps because there is no jury and the aim is to get it over with quickly – there was no discussion as to why Monis would have been motivated in the first place to ride a Harley or to socialize with the Rebels.
Does it strike you as odd? Remember one of his claims to fame is that he is a peacenik and a devout Shi’ite Muslim (at least until a few days before the Lindt Café siege when he inexplicably converted to Sunni Muslim).
I’ll bet he didn’t try to spread the message of The Prophet at bikie meetings. Although come to think of it, Officer Staples said that Monis became unpopular with the Rebels for being opposed to drinking. Well, you would, wouldn’t you.
Females A through P
The purchase of the Harley Davidson brought up the “womanizing” thing. The bank told Monis he could not afford a motorbike, so he got Female P to be the backer, to the tune of $25K.
As far as I know, the code letters used for females in this court trial were not initials. “P” does not mean Patty and “F” does not mean Freda, and so forth. They are just a string of assigned codes.
So we are left to wonder if Monis had enough girlfriends to occupy most of the alphabet.
In one case a female, in her 30s, was dying of cancer. Monis had the unmitigated cheek (he does seem to have been a man of absolutely unmitigated cheek) to ask her to bequeath her house to his boys in her will.
She didn’t though.
That same lady (not sure which alphabet letter she is, I think it is Female M) had put her unit up for sale in order to buy a bigger house where she could mother Billy and Josef. Those boys must be so confused!
I did not hear about the source of all these women in the life of our Lindt Café terrorist. Perhaps it was mainly from his spitritual healing business. The murdered EXwife, did enter his life that way. And married him when she was 19.
I was surprised to hear that the elderly Mom of Amirah was also Monis’ client many years ago. So if this is how Monis met Amirah, this conflicts with N Wazid Azal’s notion that she was an ASIO honeypot.
Another female, it was said, bought Monis a Mercedes, and then was angry when she heard it had been banged up while being driven by another woman.
Again, I must say, there is no follow-through, in the courtroom, as to any of these stories. They could be totally fictitious, though I do not particularly claim they are.
Fifth Amendment, Anyone?
Amirah is not taking the stand in her trial. Let’s talk about that. It is common for a jury to impute meaning to that decision, if you know what I mean. Every citizen has a right not to incriminate himself – and legally has a right not to have something “imputed” if he opts for silence.
I am imputing like mad. I think if she is a genuine bewronged (falsely accused or meanly set-up) lady, she should want to scream that to the world. Podstava! Podstava! Does she not owe it to her teen daughter to clear the family name?
Note: I thought it must have been hard for Amirah to listen to the alphabet list of girls and maintain her dignity. Actually she never stirs. At one point they played a video of her late mother and I was sure she would break down in tears but she remained passive.
When Is Perjury Acceptable?
On Thursday, September 22, 2016, there was a most unnerving scene in the courtroom. The Defense brought in three witnesses to offer an alibi for Amirah, namely that she was at her mom’s home during the fatal afternoon, April 21, 2013.
One witness said the need for Amirah to be there was to look after her elderly dad who cannot take a shower by himself.
I think it is against the rules for me to say more about this witness. Basically she lied about the event, as was quickly caught by the prosecution attorney, Mr Tedeschi.
I will have to say on behalf of the judge that he communicated respect and understanding to this witness who was probably too young to understand what was really happening.
I don’t mean that Mr Tedeschi was browbeating the person, he was not, but all sorts of personal emails were read out and I found the whole thing pretty awful.
Next, Amirah’s Mom was brought in to support the alibi story.
That is, the old lady (Grandma, or in Greek, Yaya) How so — as she is deceased — I hear you ask.
Easy. Like I said, don’t pick your nose on the platform, don’t take your bra off in the elevator, and don’t give a police interview. Be Bikie-like. Let silence reign!
Yaya had given a police interview in November, 2013 and it was wheeled out in video form. Is that unfair or what. She perjured. (Well, not really as she was not under oath.) The whole thing was outrageous. She was caught lying, posthumously.
For Pete’s sake the daughter, Amirah, was the mom’s only helper. Her husband, age 85, is completely disabled by a stroke, cannot talk, and her son (Amirah’s brother) is very mentally disabled. If I were Yaya I’d have lied, too. I think Greek family loyalty is a national treasure.
By the way, on an earlier day in court we had seen a video of Monis trying to put pressure on Yaya to retract what she had said to police about Monis being a liar. Monis actually made that video himself, perhaps in hopes of submitting it to court. Amazing.
An elderly Greek neighbor also took the stand to try to support the idea that Amirah was in Yaya’s home while the murder in the stairwell in Wellington was taking place. I will call her “Gloria.”
Gloria got the unravel treatment form the Prosecutor – which I grant is perfectly proper under law. Her very white skin never blushed, though. She spoke through a professional court interpreter, and was more or less defiant about the alibi.
As there was a question about the date, Gloria proffered an explanation of how the Greek orthodox celebration of Easter is on a different date than the Aussie version. When pushed further about the Sunday in question she moaned “I am 69 and have no brain left.”
The prosecutor said to Yaya’s neighbor Gloria (who used to visit Yaya every day): “May I put it to you that you are dying to see Amirah’s (teenage) daughter reunited with (the imprisoned) Amirah because you care about her?”
At that point I was kind of wishing Gloria would use some colorful language – tho’ her interpreter may have watered it down a bit — but nothing was forthcoming. I had to do it myself.
My take on the whole day is this: we are hearing too many important pieces of evidence second-hand from Melanie Staples the homicide detective. I want to watch witnesses squirm. I want to see cross-examination.
I have seemingly “faulted” Mr Crown for doing vigorous cross-examination, but my real complaint on that issue is that the Defender should not have invited the alibi witnesses to the case in the first place.
Didn’t he walk through the story with them? Didn’t he have access to the same data that the Crown had, which would undermine their story? Was he, through these easily-unraveled alibi stories, trying to make his client look worse?
What the hell is going in here? I don’t know. Don’t ask me.
If you can possibly be in Sydney on October 4, please attend the Defense’s summing up. You may be frisked on entry. And don’t be obese, as the door to the public gallery was built a century ago when Sydneysiders must have been reed-like in girth.
Courtroom 3, Darlinghurst Court in Taylor Square, Oxford St., Tuesday at 10am.
— Mary Maxwell apologizes for getting hot under the collar.