Cringila siege accused had 'juice container'

The former taxi driver from Cringila who sparked a dramatic siege and brought the parts of Sydney to a standstill on Friday when he allegedly threatened to blow up NSW parliament was armed with just a juice container containing 100 millilitres of clear liquid and cigarette lighter, a court heard on Saturday.

Abdula Ganiji, 58, appeared via audio visual link at Parramatta bail court to face several charges, including threatening sabotage and damage to property and possessing an explosive with the intent to destroy, on Saturday.

His defence lawyer, Wollongong barrister Jane Healey, withdrew an initial application for bail after Magistrate Alan Moore said he would like to see a full psychiatric risk assessment.

"Public safety is a major factor here," he said.

"I'm not saying he should never be at large."

Mr Ganiji sparked a full-scale emergency response when he parked his white Chrysler outside NSW Parliament House on Macquarie Street shortly before midday.

Police closed the street after Mr Ganiji allegedly threatened to blow up the building.

The siege ended dramatically when tactical operations officers forced their way into the car and arrested him about 2pm, in scenes which played out on live television.

When asked whether Mr Ganiji had enough fuel inside the car to blow up the building, Ms Healey said: "I only have what I observed on ABC news last night which was a two-litre fruit juice container with 100 millilitres of clear liquid and a green cigarette lighter."

Magistrate Alan Moore said: "I appreciate the time of year it is, I appreciate the allegations and I hear what you say in terms of volume.

"I think I would be sympathetic to any application you make if I had some kind of psychiatric assessment."

The court heard Mr Ganiji had seen a psychiatrist in the Illawarra for many years.

Ms Healey said she had relied on comments from NSW Police assistant comissioner Mark Murdoch, who said no members of the public or parliament were at risk at any time during Friday's incident.

After speaking with three members of Mr Ganiji's family who were in court, Ms Healey withdrew the bail application.

Bail was formally refused by the magistrate.

Dressed in a white polo shirt, Mr Ganiji did not speak or acknowledge his supporters.

Outside the court, Ms Healey said: "It's now a matter of assessing his risk to the community, which of course I see as very low."

The matter will be heard at Central Local Court on January 6.

smh.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop