Sydney Siege suspect faced sex assault and murder charges

Man Haron Monis was an Iranian refugee known for sending hate mail to the families of Australian soldiers killed overseas and facing several charges of sexual assault.

Sydney Siege suspect faced sex assault and murder charges

Monis, also known as Sheikh Haron, was charged last year with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, who was stabbed and set alight in a Sydney apartment block.

He was found guilty in 2012 of sending offensive and threatening letters to families of eight Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan as a protest against Australia’s involvement in the conflict.

Earlier this year, Monis, 50, who describes himself as a “spiritual healer”, was charged with the indecent and sexual assault of a Sydney woman in 2002. Further charges were laid in October.

Police reportedly said Monis was using the name Mohammad Hassan Manteghi and claimed to be a “sexual healer”.

Monis’s website shows graphic images of children that the website says were killed by US and Australian airstrikes, as well as media coverage following Monis’s court appearances and statements addressed to the Muslim community and Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott.

His website says Monis is a Muslim cleric and activist who has “continuously been under attack & false accusation by the Australian government & media since he started his political letter campaign from 2007”.

The site describes Monis as a victim of a political vendetta and compares him to Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has claimed the sex crime allegations he faces are politically motivated.

His former lawyer, Manny Conditsis, described Monis as an isolated figure.

Last year, he was charged with being accessory to the murder of ex-wife Noleen Hayson Pal.

“Knowing he was on bail for very serious offences, knowing that while he was in custody some terrible things happened to him, I thought he may consider that he’s got nothing to lose,” he said.

“Hence participating in something as desperate and outrageous as this.”

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