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‘Tough new national security laws, bail rules failed hostages’

‘Tough new national security laws, bail rules failed hostages’
Three people were killed, including hostage-taker Man Haron Monis, when heavily armed police stormed a Sydney cafe early on Tuesday morning to free terrified hostages held at gunpoint for 16 hours. Monis, a self-styled sheikh who received political asylum from Iran in 2001, was well known to Australian authorities, having been charged as an accessory to murder and with dozens of counts of sexual and indecent assault. He had been free on bail.

Australia passed sweeping new security laws in October aimed at preventing people from becoming radicalised and going to fight in conflicts such as those in Iraq and Syria, where scores of Australians have joined militant groups.

Despite those new powers, Abbott said Monis was not on any security watchlist and managed to walk undetected into the Lindt Chocolate Cafe with a shotgun on a busy workday morning.

“The system did not adequately deal with this individual, there’s no doubt about that,” Abbott said in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio. Abbott said authorities would investigate what had happened in the lead-up to Monday’s siege, why Monis was not on any watchlist and how he got a gun.The justice system in New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, was also under fire.“We were concerned this man got bail from the very beginning,” NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters.

Police had requested courts refuse Monis bail but were not paying special attention to him because his charges were not linked to political violence and he was not on any watchlist, he said. Abbott also raised concerns about the bail system.Greg Barns, a lawyer and a spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance, said lengthy delays between arrests and cases being heard, along with the presumption of innocence, meant more people were on bail for longer.

Murdoch’s Sydney siege tweet angers netizens

Rupert Murdoch is at the receiving end again. Celebrities and netizens have taken on media baron Rupert Murdoch for his tweet congratulating one of his publications for its timely coverage of the Sydney terror attack. ‘AUST gets wake-call with Sydney terror. Only Daily Telegraph caught the bloody outcome at 2am. Congrats’ Murdoch tweeted, triggering outrage on Twitter. Many of his 538,000 followers are upset because his first tweet after the Sydney siege had no message of sympathy for the hostages. British screen writer James Moran was one of the first to condemn the tweet. “@RUpert Murdoch - ‘Congrats’ on being utterly awful. A new low,” he tweeted.



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