Who is Man Haron Monis?
The Iranian refugee was granted asylum in Australia after leaving his homeland in 1996.
Described by his lawyer as an “isolated figure”, he first came to public attention in 2009 when he was tried for and pleaded guilty to sending offensive letters to families of Australians who were killed in conflict in Afghanistan.
The self-proclaimed Sheikh maintained that he was a peace activist, notoriously declaring:
“This pen is my gun and these words are my bullets. I fight with these weapons against oppression, to promote peace.”
In 2002, he had also faced charges of sexually assaulting a woman.
In 2014, Monis was charged with being an accessory to the April murder of his ex-wife Noleen Hayson Pal. She was found dead on the staircase of a Sydney apartment block after being stabbed multiple times and set alight.
His current wife Amirah Droudis, 34, also pleaded guilty to sending the letters and has been implicated in the murder of Pal.
Monis claimed he had been framed by Australia’s domestic spy agency (ASIO) and the Iranian secret police.
At the time of the Sydney siege, he was on bail awaiting trial for 40 charges of indecent and sexual assault.