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Calls For Tougher Parole Laws After Melbourne Siege Victim Identified

Kai Hao, 36, was found dead in Brighton on Monday.

07/06/2017 1:24 PM AEST | Updated 07/06/2017 1:25 PM AEST

The victim of Melbourne's deadly siege on Monday night has been identified as 36-year-old Kai Hao.

The Chinese-born Australian, who worked at the serviced apartments where lone gunman Yacqub Khayre took a 36-year-old Colombian escort captive, was found dead in the building's foyer on Monday afternoon.

Khayre was shot dead by police just before 6pm on Monday evening, ending a two-hour long hostage situation.

In 2009 the 29-year-old was acquitted after he was charged over a plot to attack the Holsworthy Army Barracks in Sydney's south-west.

The Victorian Adult Parole Board is currently facing enormous criticism from both the Federal and State governments, as well as the general public after it was revealed that Khayre -- who was on a terror watch list -- was recently released on parole after committing an aggravated burglary while on the drug ice in 2012.

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The 29-year-old had a long record of offences.

Speaking to 3AW on Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that he wanted to make sure "that people like Khayre are not released on parole."

"This is a question of national leadership and national responsibility," he said.

"He clearly had terrorist associations and connections. Added to that, he had a long record of offences of violence -- a very long record."

The 29-year-old was also sentenced to two years in a youth justice centre in 2007 following more than 40 charges of burglary, theft, assault and resisting arrest, the ABC reported.

The Prime Minister added that it was his goal to find out how "somebody with such a record with criminality and violence and a known association with violent extremism" got parole.

Appearing on the Seven Network's Sunrise program on Wednesday morning, the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, said he was willing to "go so far as to take the extraordinary step of referring our state's authority for parole for those on the terror watch list over to the Commonwealth Government".

The board received absolutely no information from either corrections or external services which would cause us to have any concerns about risks to the public

"Where someone is on the terror watch list, in order for them to get parole we need to have ASIO and the Australian Federal Police directly involved in that decision," he said.

"Not providing advice or commentary and not providing advice at a distance."

While Turnbull made it clear that there would be a "very serious discussion" about parole laws at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on Friday, he also rejected Andrews' suggestion, saying that it was effectively "proposing to abdicate responsibility for the safety of Victorians to the Government".

Judge Peter Couzens, Chair of the Victorian Adult Parole Board, also spoke to 3AW on Wednesday morning defending the decision to release Khayre, stressing that the proper processes had been followed completely and appropriately.

Couzens said that in determining whether to grant parole, the board received information that Khayre had good behaviour since Feburary 2015, undertaken offender behaviour programs and was also prepared to engage in a de-radicalisation program.

"The board received absolutely no information from either corrections or external services which would cause us to have any concerns about risks to the public," Couzens said.

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Andrews said said he was willing to "go so far as to take the extraordinary step of referring our state's authority for parole for those on the terror watch list over to the Commonwealth Government".

While Couzens noted that he could not go into the specifics of the decision to grant parole to Khayre due to a forthcoming coronial inquest, his Honour did say that the board was not given any information indicating that Khayre had been on a terror watch list.

Couzens also said that the board was not, until this time, party to any briefings from security agencies such as ASIO when reaching a parole determination.

"We were not told anything on those lines, either at the time of making the order that he be released on parole or subsequently," he said.

"It should be shared with Corrections Victoria... [They] have an extraordinarily difficult role."

The only correspondence received from a federal agency by the parole board was a letter on 2 May seeking Khayre's address to return property to him, Couzens claims.

"You would have thought...if the federal authorities were concerned about this person as a risk, they would have been more concerned about that rather than returning property to him," he said.

"I think, if anything, that indicates on the face of it at least, there was nothing that came to the notice of the board which would give it any cause for concern."

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