CCTV footage shows Brothers For Life leader Farhad Qaumi (left) and Pasquale Barbaro at The Star casino in January 2014. Photo: Supplied Joe Antoun with his wife Teagan. Photo: Supplied
Sydney construction boss Elias “Les” Elias allegedly offered the Brothers for Life gang $200,000 to kill standover man Joe Antoun and offered to disguise the payment by buying a kebab shop, a murder trial has heard.
Farhad Qaumi, head of the Brothers for Life’s Blacktown chapter, is on trial in the NSW Supreme Court, charged with organising the shooting execution of Mr Antoun at his Strathfield home on December 16, 2013.
Insider details of the alleged murder contract were aired in court on Thursday as well as bizarre evidence that unwittingly dragged Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr into the trial and the recent murder of crime boss Pasquale Timothy Barbaro.
Barbaro, 35, was shot dead on Monday night just hours before phone intercepts of him talking to Mr Qaumi were due to be played in the murder trial.
A female acquaintance of Mr Qaumi’s, identified as Witness M, told the court on Thursday that she was present when Mr Qaumi and his brother Mumtaz said that Les Elias wanted Mr Antoun dead.
Mr Elias, a former business partner of Mr Antoun’s, had offered to hide payment for the killing by buying Mumtaz’ kebab shop, she said.
“Les was going to give them $150,000 for the kebab shop even though it wasn’t worth that, just to cover the money so it’s clean,” the witness said. “Mumtaz could keep it and Les would just get someone to run it.”
A few days later, the witness recalled driving up and down streets in Strathfield with Farhad, Mumtaz and a third man looking for a specific house.
At one point they stopped at a service station to look up a street directory because none of them had taken phones with them out of fear they would be tracked, she said.
The witness said she wasn’t present when Mr Antoun was killed but said Farhad was furious afterwards because the trigger-man “f–ked up”.
“He was happy that the hit was done but [the gunman] f–ked up because the guy had cameras and [the gunman] didn’t cover his face properly and he’s got f–ked up teeth,” the witness said.
Mr Elias, who survived an attempt on his life in the 1990s, moved to the Philippines and has refused to come back to Australia.
The trial also heard evidence about a New Year’s Eve yacht party in 2013 organised by Barbaro in honour of Mr Quami.
He had promised Mr Qaumi that all of the city’s biggest gangsters would be on the luxury Oscar II yacht and Miranda Kerr would be a special guest.
He told Mr Qaumi the party was “all for you” and he was “the main event”, a former Brothers for Life member, known only as Witness J, told the court.
However, Kerr did not attend the party and the Oscar II was shot at when it docked at Rose Bay at the end of the night. Mr Qaumi was hit in the shoulder.
Witness J told the court on Thursday that he thought Barbaro’s offer to Mr Qaumi was suspicious because the pair barely knew each other.
At the time of Mr Antoun’s death, Barbaro was pursuing him over an alleged $750,000 debt Mr Antoun owed to Griffith wine merchants.
The trial heard that Barbaro had told associates he had twice tried to kill Mr Antoun but had not gone through with it because both times Mr Antoun had been carrying a child.
Mr Qaumi’s defence team has argued that Mr Antoun had many enemies that could have killed him.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.