Home' Greymouth Star : February 9th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, February 9, 2015 - 5
‘ We were just left there’
One of the sur vivors of
December’s Lindt Cafe siege in
Sydney has angrily criticised the
way the police handled the 17-
hour ordeal with gunman Man
Marcia Mikhael, 43, was one
of 14 sur vivors who spoke of
their harrowing experience
in competing head-to-head
packages on the Seven and Nine
networks last night.
Mikhael, a Westpac Bank
executive, spoke of being furious
at the police response when she
called to tell them the gunman’s
“The Prime Minister (Tony
Abbott) is a very busy man and
he can’t come to the phone,” she
says she was told.
“I yelled at him (the policeman).
I couldn’t believe it. I was in
disbelief. I think I actually said
that I don’t care what he’s doing
right now, whether he’s walking
his dog with his mates. ”
That was the moment “I lost
hope”, Mikhael said. “ It was then
that I knew that there was not
going to be any negotiation and
we were just left there. No one
was coming for us. ”
Mikhael, who was reportedly
paid $318,000 for the Seven
inter view, said it felt as though
the police were just waiting. “ It
was a waiting game. They were
being reactive. There was nothing
proactive about that operation.”
She believed the army would
have been a more appropriate
force to deal with the hostage
Two other sur vivors spoke
of arming themselves with
switchblades and kitchen knives
as the terror unfolded — and
how they came close to stabbing
Lindt workers Jarrod Hoffman,
19, and Joel Herat, 21, told 60
Minutes of their fear some of the
18 hostages might be killed if
their plan failed.
The men came close to using the
weapons against their attacker as
he terrorised his captives.
It was late in the afternoon,
as Herat was taking his turn to
hold an Islamic flag in the cafe’s
window, when Monis came
within arm’s reach.
Without directly discussing
their plan, the university student
and Hoffman, his close friend,
had the same idea — to attempt
to take their captor down, News
Herat said: “He was, you know,
right below me sitting on the
lounge and like, do I stab him?
You know, what if I miss? What
are the consequences of that, you
With Monis holding his
shotgun and wearing the
backpack he claimed carried a
bomb, Herat considered what to
Monis — agitated by the escape
earlier of three of his captives —
had threatened swift and bloody
revenge on the others. For Herat,
the risk of messing up a strike on
Monis — however calculated and
courageous — ultimately proved
too great, News Ltd reported.
“ What if I, you know, dive and
then kick the gun out of his hand
and stab him . . . I just couldn’t
end up doing it. I just, yeah, I just
Hoffman considered his own
action plan, but saw the risk to
pregnant lawyer Julie Taylor and
ruled out moving against Monis.
“ I’ve got this knife in my pocket
and I know Joel has a knife in
his pocket. And we are so close
we could do this but, you know,
someone would need to jump,
hold his arms down and then I
would stab him in the jugular.
his knee and I could see it was
pointed directly at Julie Taylor’s
Pregnant barista Harriette
Denny told 60 Minutes:
“ Knowing that you’re about to die
is kind of hard, the desperation
you feel, the fear, you lose hope,
thinking about your family
outside, thinking there’s nothing
you can do to get yourself out and
it’s very hard.”
Monis and two of the hostages
died in the siege. — A AP
Sydney cafe siege survivor lashes out at police
Joel Herat, left, and Jarrod Hoffman.
At least 14 people have been killed in a
riot at a soccer match near Cairo.
The riot happened last night as a match
took place between Egyptian Premier
League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI at
Air Defence Stadium just outside of
It comes only three years after similar
violence at a soccer match killed 74
State television, citing prosecutors, said
the violence killed at least 14 people and
an investigation into the riot had begun.
Zamalek fans said the death toll
probably was higher.
What caused the violence was not
condition of anonymity, said Zamalek
fans tried to force their way into the
match without tickets, sparking clashes.
Zamalek fans, known as White
Knights, posted on their group’s official
Facebook page that the violence began
because authorities only opened one
narrow, barbed-wire door to let them
They said that sparked pushing and
shoving that later saw police officers fire
teargas and birdshot.
The group later posted pictures on
Facebook it claimed were of dead fans,
including the names of 22 people it said
had been killed.
Egypt ’s hard-core soccer fans, known
as Ultras, frequently clash with police
inside and outside of stadiums.
They are deeply politicised and many
participated in the country’s 2011
uprising that forced out President Hosni
The deadliest riot in Egypt soccer
history came during a 2012 match
when Port Said’s Al-Masry team hosted
That riot, at the time the deadliest
worldwide since 1996, killed 74 people,
mostly Al-Ahly fans.
Later that year, angry fans burned down
the headquarters of Egypt’s Football
Association, protesting its decision to
resume matches before bringing those
behind that 2012 riot to justice. — AP
South African police say they have
discovered the frozen corpses of four
newborn babies in freezers at a house in
the southern city of Mthatha.
Acting on a tip-off, police raided a
house on Saturday and made the grim
discovery of the infants estimated to be
aged between one and two months.
“The babies were found in two freezers,”
police spokesman Mzukisi Fatyela said.
Police are looking for the owner of
the house, a woman, who was away in
Johannesburg at the time of the search.
Investigations have been launched
and the bodies have been sent for post-
Mthatha is one of the main towns in
Eastern Cape province and lies near
Qunu, the final resting place of former
president Nelson Mandela. — AFP
14 die in Cairo
Jordan intensifies raids on IS
Jordan says it has destroyed 56 targets
in three days of strikes on the Islamic
State group after the jihadist group
murdered one of its pilots.
Air force chief Major-General
Mansour al-Jobour did not specify where
the strikes took place, but told reporters
the air raids launched since Thursday
had destroyed 20% of IS capabilities.
“On the first day of the campaign to
avenge our airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh,
19 targets were destroyed, including
training camps and equipment,” he said,
reading from a prepared text.
Jordan has vowed to crush IS after the
jihadists burned alive Kassasbeh, who
was captured in December when his
F-16 fighter-bomber crashed in Syria.
Eighteen more targets, including
ammunition and fuel depots and
logistics centres, were hit on Friday.
On Saturday, 19 IS targets were
destroyed, including barracks and
“So far, the campaign has destroyed 20%
of the fighting capabilities of Daesh,” he
said using another name for IS which
controls swathes of both Syria and Iraq.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told
Fox News this week the air force had
targeted IS in both Syria and Iraq where
the jihadists have proclaimed an Islamic
“caliphate” in areas it controls.
“ We are determined to wipe out this
terrorist gang,” Jobour said during the
overnight press briefing.
The air force will step up strikes against
IS over the next few days, he added.
Interior Minister Hussein Majali said
in remarks published on Saturday that
Kassasbeh’s gruesome murder by IS was
a “turning point ” in the kingdom’s fight
Jordan is part of the United States-led
coalition of Arab and western countries
that has been carrying out air strikes
against IS since September. — AFP
Hay bale kills
A hay bale fell from a truck killing a
married couple who were riding past on a
motorcycle in a horror day on Tasmanian
roads during which four people died and
one was critically hurt in a spate of crashes.
The man and woman from Launceston
were riding south near Lilydale in the
State’s north about 3pm yesterday when
police say they passed a white Western
Star truck towing a trailer, laden with
round bales of hay.
“The hay bale was still moving when it
struck the motorcycle, having fallen from
the truck,” police said. Both victims died
at the scene.
The first in Tasmania’s string of
fatalities occurred late on Saturday night
when a Mazda utility vehicle crashed off
a corner while driving on King Island.
A man behind the wheel, the sole
occupant, was rushed to hospital but
died a short time later.
At 11am yesterday police were alerted
to a motorcycle crash near Bothwell in
central Tasmania. The 57-year-old man
riding the bike died at the scene.
Police also reported a two-car smash
on Tasmania’s major Midlands Highway
near central Tunbridge about 4pm which
led to one occupant being flown to
hospital in a critical condition. — AAP
An edition of the Magna Carta which
could be worth up to £10 million
($20.72 million) has been found after
it lay forgotten in a British council’s
The discovery of a version of the
English document which established
the principle of the rule of law, was
uncovered in the files of the history
department of Kent County Council.
It was found in the archives kept in
Maidstone but belonging to the town of
Professor Nicholas Vincent, of
the University of East Anglia, who
authenticated the document, said: “It
is a fantastic discovery which comes in
the week the four other known versions
were brought together at the Houses of
Vincent said the fact Sandwich had its
own Magna Carta gives backing to the
theory that it was issued more widely
than previously thought to at least 50
cathedral towns and ports. There are
only 24 editions of the Magna Carta in
known existence around the world.
The first Magna Carta was drafted
by the Archbishop of Canterbury and
agreed by King John on June 15, 1215 to
make peace with a group of rebel barons.
Magna Carta copy found in council archive
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