The first formal report into the tragic Sydney siege of December 15-16 last year has been released earlier than expected by Tony Abbott and NSW Premier Mike Baird today, paving the way for tougher controls on visa and citizenship regulation, as well as on bail laws.
The 78-page report, which you can read in full here, comprehensively outlines the Lindt Café gunman Man Haron Monis‘ biography in Australia, detailing his criminal offences, sexual assault charges, protests, employment, travel, visas, and name changes up until the siege in December. The timeline reveals that Monis made 18 calls between December 9-12 last year to the National Security Hotline. These calls that linked to Monis’ facebook page were reviewed by NSW Police and the Australian Federal Police – however both agencies concluded that Monis did not pose “imminent threat”.
The report also details the proposed response to the siege, concluding that changes to bail laws, visas, immigration policies and initiatives to counteract violent extremism should be undertaken.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a statement regarding the report, saying the legal system had failed: “Plainly, this monster should not have been in our community,”
Regarding the firearm used by Monis in the siege, the review states, “It appears that the firearm used by Monis may have entered Australia lawfully and became a ’grey market’ firearm when not returned as part of the 1996 National Buy Back program.”
Read the review in full here.
Lead image by Cole Bennets via Getty.