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Attacker out on bail

Attacker out on bail

SYDNEY - The man who attacked Britain's Prince Charles with a blank pistol

thought he was on a suicide mission, an Australian judge heard on Feb 4 before

granting bail and ordering him to undergo psychiatric

treatment.

University student David Kang, 23, lunged at Charles and fired

a starter pistol twice during Australia Day celebrations in Sydney on Jan 26.

No-one was hurt.

In a late bail hearing, New South Wales Supreme Court

Judge Rex Smart released Kang on Australian $5,000 (U.S. $3,580) bail provided

he remain in a Sydney hospital under the care of his psychiatrist.

Smart

reversed his decision to refuse bail after Kang's psychiatrist presented

evidence after interviewing Kang in Sydney's maximum security Long Bay

prison.

The court heard earlier on Friday that Kang had expected to be

shot in the attack on Charles and left a note telling his family he expected a

"rendezvous with God."

Kang carried magazine articles about a suicide,

which he referred to, to overcome his fear of death, police said. Other articles

at Kang's home included one on a bomb.

Kang said he had not consciously

pointed the pistol at Charles. "I was running at the time," he said. "I just

pulled the trigger twice. I dropped it on the grass, not the stage as the police

said."

He said he decided to launch himself at Charles after he saw

"nobody was there". The attack sparked international criticism of Australian

security for Charles's visit.

Kang has said he staged the attack to bring

attention to the plight of Cambodians held in Australian detention

camps.

He faces four assault and firearms charges after two serious

charges of assaulting an internationally protected person, which carried jail

terms of up to 10 years, were dropped on Thursday.

Prosecutors said

Charles did not qualify as an internationally protected person - normally a head

of state.

Kang underwent psychiatric evaluation earlier this week. The

court was told Kang had been prescribed medication for depression, but stopped

taking it before the attack. He was also once put into a private psychiatric

hospital, but discharged himself the next day, the prosecutor said.

"The

applicant feels very deeply about any form of racism, and objects strongly to

racism which he believes is practiced by some people against people from Asian

countries," said Smart.

Kang's next court appearance is set for February

25.

 

- Reuters

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