Alleged gunman accused of Canberra Airport attack makes bizarre request about the ABC as he faces court for the first time dressed in a Hawaiian shirt
- Ali Rachid Ammoun, 63, has been charged over shooting at Canberra Airport
- He requested the ABC be excluded from his first court appearance on Monday
- His request was denied and Ammoun has been remanded in custody
- Five shots were fired inside Canberra Airport on Sunday. Nobody was injured
A man accused of firing five shots at Canberra Airport sparking mass evacuations has failed to have any staff from the ABC excluded from his first court appearance.
Ali Rachid Ammoun, 63, from NSW, donned a Hawaiian shirt when he faced ACT Magistrates Court on Monday.
Ammoun was charged with discharging a firearm at a building, unlawful possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm near a person causing alarm after he was arrested for allegedly shooting at the windows on Sunday afternoon.
Ammoun’s legal aid solicitor Tamzin Lee moved to prohibit the ABC from reporting on the case but the application was opposed by the prosecution and the judge.
‘I am satisfied this is an open court and the ABC has a right to report on such matters … unless there is a good reason to suppress the proceedings,’ magistrate Robert Cook told the court.
Ali Rachid Ammoun, 63, has been charged after five shots were fired at Canberra Airport on Sunday. The airport was evacuated
Ammoun didn’t apply for bail and has been remanded in custody having already spent a night behind bars.
He did not enter pleas to any of the charges and Magistrate Cook ordered he undergo a psychiatric assessment.
Police allege Ammoun arrived at the airport at around 1.20pm on Sunday, and that he sat on seats near the check-in desks before firing five bullets at glass panes.
No one was injured during the incident but the airport was evacuated and remained closed for about three hours.
Footage posted to Facebook shows a man being apprehended by police inside the airport following the alleged shooting
Ammoun had not gone through any security checks and police allege he was acting alone.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Detective Acting Superintendent Dave Craft said police had ‘no idea’ of the man’s motivation behind the alleged attack.
He said Ammoun hadn’t targeted any passengers or staff members and had not passed through any flight-screening procedures.
‘I just need to reassure people that the airport is safe, that ACT Policing have responded, and there is no ongoing threat to the community or to passengers arriving and departing,’ he said.
Detective Craft said the man spent about five minutes sitting in the departures area on level two before allegedly firing the rounds into airport windows.
The shooting sparked travel chaos with some passengers left stranded on their plane while the alleged shooter was being arrested.
The 63-year-old will face court again on September 5.
Images posted to social media show bullet holes in the concourse windows (pictured) with reports suggesting the alleged shooter fired at the glass several times