Iran claims to have sought siege gunman’s extradition in 2000

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Iranian police had requested the extradition of Man Haron Monis, the gunman who was shot dead in the Martin Place siege, 14 years ago but Australian authorities would not hand him over, Iran’s police chief has claimed in a statement.

Monis had committed a number of “violent” and fraud-related offences before he fled the country “in disguise” in 1996, according to Iran’s chief of police, General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam.

At the time, Monis went by the name of Mohammad Hassan Manteqi. He fled first to Malaysia in 1996 and then to Australia, where he was granted political asylum, GeneralMoghaddam claimed.

He told the Iranian Mehr News Agency that Monis posed as a cleric at the time to gain political asylum. Earlier Monis has been themanager of a travel agency in Iran, authorities there said.

GeneralMoghaddamsaid Iranian police spent four years collecting evidence against Monis, before seeking his extradition to Iran from Australia.

But that request was knocked back, GeneralMoghaddam claimed.

“It lasted four years to collect evidence on Manteqi’s [Monis’] identification documents and we reported this to the Australian police but since Australia has no extradition treaty with Iran, they didn’t extradite him to Iran,” GeneralMoghaddam told the Mehr News Agency.

Monis, 50, was shot dead when police stormed into the Lindt Chocolat Cafe just after 2am on Tuesday, more than 16 hours after he entered the cafe armed with a gun and held 17 customers and staff hostage.

At the time, Monis waswasbefore the courts on two separate and serious matters: more than 40 sexual assault charges involving seven alleged victims and as an accessory to the murder of his former wife.

The NSW government has called for an investigation into why Monis “slipped through the cracks” of the judicial system and was released from custody.

GeneralMoghaddam said Iranian authorities were prepared to work with Australian police to investigate his past.

“Our position is clear in this regard; all countries should cooperate to avoid such issues if there is international organised crime today,” GeneralMoghaddam told the news agency.

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