"Are they a threat?' No says magistrate of Sydney gunman
THE Australian magistrate who granted Man Horan Monis bail last year did so after determining the murder case against him and his co-accused was "weak" and that neither posed a threat to others.
Monis, 50, entered the echelons of Australian infamy last week after taking 18 hostages at a Sydney CBD cafe and mounting a 16-hour siege.
It ended with his death, and those of hostages Katrina Dawson, 38, and Tori Johnson, 34.
The deaths of Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson sparked public concern about the NSW bail process, with the state and federal governments publicly questioning how Monis got bail after being charged in relation to the death of his ex-wife.
Court documents containing the transcript of Magistrate William Pierce's bail decision from December 2013 were released yesterday.
In the documents, Justice Pierce sets out his reasoning for granting bail to Monis, and his then-partner Amirah Droudis.
"The case against them, the circumstantial case, I think is weak," Justice Pierce said.
"I do not attach much significance to many of the matters to which the prosecutor referred and which he seeks to aggregate, to show proof of the offence, of the likelihood of a conviction."
Monis' former wife Noleen Hayson Pal, 30, was stabbed and set alight at an apartment block on April 21, 2013.
Ms Droudis, who had her bail revoked on Monday, was charged with Ms Pal's murder while Monis was alleged to be an accessory before and after the fact.
"Provided that there is a substantial surety it is necessary in my view, that each of them should have bail," Justice Pierce said, according to the court documents.
"As much as anything else it is a simple matter of fairness.
"Are they a threat to other people? No they are not."
Droudis' case returns to court next year.