Ministry of Law to review framework for granting bail in wake of Sydney siege

Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam (left) said he had asked the Ministry of Law to review the framework for granting bail in light of the Sydney hostage situation on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam (left) said he had asked the Ministry of Law to review the framework for granting bail in light of the Sydney hostage situation on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Law has been asked to review the framework for granting bail.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam said that he had asked the ministry to do so, in light of the Sydney hostage situation on Monday.

 

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Mr Shanmugam said: "Understand that the killer was out on bail, while being accused of a serious crime, and had a history. Calls for a careful re-look."

Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian refugee, took 17 hostages at Lindt cafe in downtown Sydney on Monday morning and was engaged in a 16-hour long siege. He was killed when police stormed the cafe on Tuesday morning. Two hostages died in the incident.

In his Facebook post, Mr Shanmugam said he was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of "the heroic duo who protected those in the cafe during the Sydney hostage situation".

According to news reports, Tori Johnson, 34, had tried to tackle gunman Man Haron Moris, while Katrina Dawson, 38, had tried to shield a pregnant hostage.

Mr Shanmugam added: "Our hearts and prayers go out to them and their loved ones. The world is now afflicted with this madness - deranged men running amok, and using religion as an excuse to kill innocent people."

Monis was found guilty in 2012 of sending offensive and threatening letters to families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, in protest against Australia's involvement in the conflict, said reports. Despite being known to Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, he was not on a terror watch list.

Questions have been raised about why Monis, who was charged as an accessory to the stabbing murder of his ex-wife last year, was granted bail. He was also charged this year with more than 40 counts of sexual or indecent assault against women in Sydney.