Greek-Australian lawyer Manny Conditsis said that his former client Man Haron Monis, the man behind the Sydney Siege, was an “isolated figure.” The Iranian refugee “came to Australia in the late 1990s as I understand it, obtained political asylum in 2001. He fled Iran because he was in fear of his life from the regime at that time,” said the lawyer at ABC New Breakfast.
Man Haron Monis had a criminal record and Manny Conditsis had defended him in court, in the past. He was currently out of prison on bail since he had been accused of being an accessory to the murder of his wife who had been stabbed and burned. Furthermore, he had also been charged with over 50 sexual assault allegations.
According to the Greek Australian lawyer, Monis acted alone. The siege “was not a concerted terrorism event or act. It was a damaged-goods individual who did something outrageous,” said Conditsis.
It was revealed that Monis had a history of mental instability issues. In 2012 he was found guilty of sending threatening letters to the families of eight Australian soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan. In his letter he complained about Australia’s involvement in the war.
Conditsis claims that the man was not able to overcome the shock of his conviction and the mistreatment that he faced in jail. Furthermore, it appears that the siege was the result of the appeal rejection against his original conviction
“The perpetrator was well known to the State and Commonwealth authorities. He had a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism and mental instability,” said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday.