The Courier-Mail

What gunman’s lawyer would have said

- JANET FIFE-YEOMANS

A LAWYER who once represente­d Man Haron Monis said he would have told police to shoot him in the head if he had known Monis was the hostage taker in the Lindt cafe siege.

Dr Nazir Daawar told the inquest into last December’s siege in Sydney that he was not surprised to learn it was his former client. “I knew he would do everything to satisfy his evil, selfish desires,” said Dr Daawar, who had kicked Monis out of his office in 2010. “If I knew he was the hostage taker I would have called police to shoot him in the head, no negotiatio­n, as I know that will be the one and only way appropriat­e to deal with that situ- ation to avoid casualties in relation to the hostages.”

The siege ended with Monis and two hostages dead.

Dr Daawar described a fiery exchange when he kicked Monis out of his office.

He said as Monis became angrier, it was similar to a Hollywood movie, when evil possessed a human being.

“He was a different person,” he said. “His lips became different. His eyes came out of their sockets.”

He said Monis had asked him to act as his lawyer when he appeared in court in January 2010 charged with sending offensive letters to the families of soldiers killed in Iran and Afghanista­n.

Dr Daawar, who had worked as head of the United Nations office in Kabul before coming to Australia in 1998, two years after Monis, said he had advised Monis to plead guilty to the postal charges relating to the letters. He had told Monis he thought the letters were offensive, and Monis blamed the “westerners” for not wanting peace.

Monis did later plead guilty to sending the letters and was ordered to do 300 hours of community service, although he continued to challenge the offences’ validity. On the Friday before the siege, he had lost his final High Court appeal.

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