HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — The ex-wife of the gunman who held people hostage in a Sydney, Australia restaurant for 16 hours this week sought refuge in the Bay Area from her abusive ex-husband before she was killed, the woman’s relatives told KPIX 5.

Mon Haron Monis, was facing charges of being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife Noleen Pal, who had family in Hayward.

Ayyut Khalik, Pal’s godfather, told KPIX 5, “He was a scam artist, oh yeah. A liar, a scam artist.”

Khalik said that he never trusted Monis, but he was still shocked to learn that he was the gunman behind the siege in Sydney on Monday. Three people were killed, including Monis.

“I never thought he would do something like that, no,” he said.

Khalik met Monis in 2003 when he married Pal. He said that Monis was so abusive to his goddaughter that just over a year ago she came to stay at his home in Hayward, seeking refuge.

“He was abusing her, having her wear the hijab, did not want her to talk with anybody,” Khalik said.

Pal and Monis had two children together, so after a month, she returned to Australia. About six months later, she was stabbed multiple times and set on fire. Monis was accused of being an accessory to his ex-wife’s murder, but spent little time in jail.

“Two weeks later, he was out on bail. And you know if he would have still been in jail, this would not have happened,” Khalik said.

Khalik said that he realized Monis was an extremist when he found out that he had been writing letters to the families of Australian war veterans killed in Iraq, gloating about their deaths. He said his heart is broken, for Pal, for her children and for Sydney.

“I mean, those people were innocent. My goddaughter was innocent. Her kids were innocent,” he said.

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