Amirah Droudis, the wife of Man Haron Monis, the gunman who held 17 people hostage at Sydney's Lindt Chocolat Cafe last week, was taken into police custody after a Sydney court revoked her bail on Monday. Droudis has been charged with the murder of Monis’ ex-wife, Noleen Hayson Pal.
The director of public prosecutions said it wanted to review Droudis' bail conditions after the hours-long siege at Martin Place, which left Monis and two hostages dead, Seven News, a local news network, reported. The decision came after the prosecution reportedly presented fresh video evidence in the court Monday. Referring to videos posted online by Droudis in 2009, which allegedly show her echoing the teachings of Monis, including support for terrorist activities, prosecutors argued that Droudis posed a risk, media reports said.
"There is no evidence that [her] view has changed," Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor John Pickering SC told the court, according to The Australian.
Monis' former wife Pal, who was a mother of two, was stabbed several times and later set on fire at an apartment in Sydney, in April 2013. Droudis, who was charged with her murder in November last year, was later granted bail in December that year.
“The charges laid against Amirah Droudis are extremely serious and her alleged actions involve a murder,” Brad Hazzard, New South Wales (NSW) attorney-general, had said in a statement last week, according to Sky News, adding: “On behalf of our community I want to know whether every aspect of her being on bail has been examined in all possible detail.”
Droudis, who is of Greek heritage, was named Anastasia at birth, and worked as a hairdresser in Sydney’s Kings Cross during her teenage years. After she met Monis in the mid-2000s, she changed her name to Amirah and converted to Islam, the Daily Mail reported.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said, according to the Daily Mail, that he shared Australians' anger over Monis being granted bail despite having a long rap sheet. Monis was also charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. He was later granted a conditional bail after the presiding magistrate ruled that the prosecution had a “weak case” against him and Droudis, The Age reported.
“The public need to know: We have already taken action and strengthened the bail laws. The new, tougher laws come into effect next month. I am advised that these laws would have succeeded where our old laws have failed us,” Baird said in a statement, according to the Daily Mail, adding: “The advice I have from NSW Police is that the hostage taker did not have a gun license. Questions remain around how he was in possession of a weapon. We will get to the bottom of it.”