Sydney siege victims reveal details of ordeal
SURVIVORS of a 16-hour siege in a Sydney cafe yesterday told of their terror during the deadly stand-off, as an extremist gunman threatened to kill people "one by one".
Iranian-born, self-styled cleric Man Haron Monis, 50, held 17 people hostage at the Lindt chocolate cafe in the heart of the city's financial district on the morning of Dec 15, before being killed when police stormed the building in the early hours of the next day.
In emotional interviews, some of the surviving hostages told Australia's Channels Seven and Nine of how Monis forced them to call emergency services to tell them his demands, and how the gunman became more frustrated as night fell.
"I thought he was going to shoot us, so that everybody can see through the window," survivor Harriette Denny told commercial broadcaster Channel Nine.
"You lose hope, thinking about your family outside, thinking there's nothing you can do to get yourself out and it's very hard," said the 30-year-old, who was pregnant at the time of the hostage crisis.
Survivor John O'Brien, 82, said Monis was "ranting and raving" about Prime Minister Tony Abbott and threatened to kill everyone in the cafe.
"Tony Abbott wouldn't come to the phone, he said Tony Abbott will have all your blood on his hands when I kill you all, one by one," Mr O'Brien told Channel Seven.
The interviews, for which channels Seven and Nine reportedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, came just more than a week after an inquest opened into the siege.
Cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34, and barrister and mother-of-three Katrina Dawson, 38, were killed during the stand-off.
Hostage Marcia Mikhael said Monis, who had a history of violence and extremism, told her he had a "plan" to die in the stand-off.
"I knew he didn't want to get out of there alive and because of that, I was very scared about how it was going to end," the 43-year-old told Channel Seven, struggling to hold back tears.