Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP)

Man Haron MONIS and Amir DROUDIS

Year: 
2011-2012
Category: 
General Prosecutions
Location: 
New South Wales

 

Background and charges


It was alleged that Monis used Australia Post to send offensive or in one instance, harassing, letters to relatives of Australian Defence Force members killed in combat in Afghanistan. Another letter was sent to relatives of an Austrade official who had been killed in the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta in 2009. Droudis assisted Monis to send the letters.

 

On 20 October 2009 Monis was charged with 7 counts of using a postal service in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, offensive, pursuant to section 471.12 of the Criminal Code. On 11 May 2010 Monis was charged with a further 6 counts of using a postal service in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, offensive.

In July 2010 Monis entered pleas of not guilty and was committed to the District Court of NSW for trial.
On July 2010 Droudis was charged with 8 counts of aiding and abetting the commission of an offence by Monis in relation to the offensive letters pursuant to sections 11.2(1) and 474.12 of the Criminal Code.

In February 2011 Droudis entered pleas of not guilty and was committed to the District Court of NSW for a joint trial with Monis.

 

New South Wales Supreme Court proceedings - 2010


On 15 November 2010 Monis filed civil proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court seeking a declaration that s 471.12 was invalid.

 

 

First Application for Removal to High Court – 2011


On 18 February 2011 Monis filed an application for removal of the Supreme Court proceedings to the High Court of Australia and on 21 March 2011 Droudis filed an application for removal of the District Court proceedings to the High Court. On 8 April 2011 the High Court heard and refused the removal applications.

 

 

Proceedings before Tupman DCJ in District Court of NSW at Sydney – 2011


On 12 April 2011 Monis and Droudis were charged on indictment with offences against s 471.12 of the Code in the NSW District Court and they made an application seeking that the Court quash the indictment on the basis that s 471.12 was invalid because it infringed the constitutional implied freedom of political communication. On 18 April 2011 her Honour Tupman DCJ dismissed their notices of motion and granted certificates pursuant to s 5F(3)(b) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1912 (NSW).

 

 

First Appeal to NSWCCA (s 5F) – 2011


On 23 August 2011 Monis and Droudis’ section 5F appeal was heard by NSWCCA. On 6 December 2011 the NSWCCA delivered a judgment dismissing the appeal from the judgment and orders of Tupman DCJ.

 

 

First Appeal to the High Court – 2012


On 22 June 2012 the applicants Monis and Droudis were granted special leave to appeal to the HCA. On 3 and 4 October 2012 the appeal was heard by HCA (French CJ, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel and Bell JJ).

 

 

On 27 February 2013 the High Court delivered judgment in Monis (No 1) and because the High Court was equally divided in opinion, s 23(2)(a) of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth) operated to affirm the NSWCCA’s decision upholding the validity of s 471.12.

 

Proceedings before Marien SC DCJ in District Court of NSW at Sydney


On 5 August 2013 Monis and Droudis were arraigned before his Honour Marien SC DCJ on an amended indictment presented in the District Court of NSW at Sydney to which they pleaded guilty. On 6 and 7 August 2013 the proceedings on sentence took place before his Honour Marien SC DCJ in District Court of NSW at Sydney. At the conclusion of the sentence hearing, his Honour Marien SC DCJ adjourned the matter for a Community Service Order assessment.

 

 

On 6 September 2013 his Honour Marien SC DCJ delivered his remarks on sentence and sentenced Monis and DROUDIS as follows:

 

  • MONIS

  • Counts 1 and 2 – Convicted – Section 20(1)(a) recognisance in the sum of $1,000 for 2 years.
  • Counts 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 to 12 – Convicted – 150 hours CSO (on each) to be served concurrently.
  • Counts 5 and 8 - Convicted - 150 hours CSO (on each) to be served concurrently and cumulatively with Counts 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 to 12

 

  • DROUDIS

  • Count 13 – Convicted – Section 20(1)(a) recognisance in the sum of $1,000 for 2 years.

Appeal against Conviction to the NSWCCA - 2013


On 3 October 2013 the Applicants each filed a Notice of Intention to Appeal their convictions in the NSWCCA. On 29 April 2014 the NSWCCA Registry advised that the period in relation to which the Notices of Intention to Appeal had effect had been extended to 23 May 2014. On 13 June 2014 NSWCCA Registry advised that the period in relation to which the Notice of Intention to Appeal filed on behalf of MONIS had effect had been extended to 4 July 2014.

 

On 4 July 2014 the Applicants filed Notices of Appeal, Grounds of Appeal and Appellant’s Outline of Submissions in the NSWCCA. In their Outline of Submissions, the Applicants stated that they made the submissions for formal purposes as a condition of filing their notices of appeal, which is in turn a precondition for applying for removal of the cause to the High Court.

 

Second Application for Removal to High Court – 2014


On 31 July 2014 the Applicants each filed their application for an order pursuant to s 40 of the Judiciary Act 1903 seeking removal of the whole of the proceedings pending in the NSWCCA. A section 78B Judiciary Act 1903 Notice of Constitutional Matter also issued. On 28 August 2014 the Applicants filed their Summary of Argument in the High Court and on 18 September 2014 the Respondent, The Queen, filed its Summary of Argument. On 25 September 2014 the Applicants filed a Reply in the High Court.

 

 

On 12 December 2014 the High Court, comprised of his Honour Chief Justice French and his Honour Justice Gageler, heard the removal applications. The applications were refused.

The matters are listed for mention in the NSWCCA on 12 February 2015.