Former Comanchero boss Mahmoud “Mick” Hawi’s grief-stricken widow went to the house of a Sydney property developer in the hours after her husband’s assassination and threatened to kill him, a court has heard.
Mr Hawi’s wife Carolina Gonzales held back tears as she gave evidence on the opening day of the Supreme Court trial of the men accused of murdering her husband in February 2018.
Mr Hawi was 37 when he was brazenly shot in the head, face and right shoulder in broad daylight outside the Fitness First gym at Rockdale in southern Sydney.
Accused gunman Yusuf Nazlioglu and alleged getaway driver Jamal Eljaidi have both pleaded not guilty to murder.
On Tuesday, their lawyers attacked the crown prosecution’s case as circumstantial and said there were a number of people who wanted Mr Hawi dead.
Just hours after her husband was shot dead on February 15, 2018, Ms Gonzales went to the house of Eddie Haragli where she threatened to kill the wealthy property developer, she admitted under cross examination.
“On the evening of the 15th of February, 2018, you went to the house of Eddie Haragli … you threatened to kill him,” the defence asked.
“Yes,” Ms Gonzales replied.
“Why did you do that?”
“I was angry.”
She told the court on Tuesday that at the time she believed one of Mr Haragli’s family members had been involved in Nazlioglu carrying out the killing.
The court heard Mr Haragli had owed Mr Hawi $500,000 however Ms Gonzales denied it had anything to do with his death.
She contended that Mr Haragli had offered to pay her husband half a million dollars and denied Mr Hawi was attempting to extort money.
Mr Haragli has not been charged in connection with the incident.
While she said she had no knowledge of her husband’s business affairs, she denied he was involved in criminal activity.
Asked by Nazlioglu’s defence barrister Avni Djemal if he was involved in extortion, she said: “Definitely not.”
The crown has alleged that Nazlioglu was motivated to kill Mr Hawi after the two former close friends fell out.
The court heard that Mr Hawi was “embarrassed” by Nazlioglu’s behaviour during a fishing trip to the Central Coast in late 2016.
Ms Gonzales, who was married to Mr Hawi in 2001 under Islamic law but never legally married, said the once close friends fell out badly after that.
“I asked if the friendship was over and he pretty much said yes. He couldn’t handle his behaviour anymore,” Ms Gonzales said.
The pair met after Mr Hawi was released from prison in 2015 and Nazlioglu was a regular at his family home but Ms Gonzales said she couldn’t recall seeing him after the incident.
Asked by crown prosecutor Lou Longo if their friendship was ended at that point, Ms Gonzales said: “Yes, he couldn’t handle his behaviour anymore.”
She said while she never found out the finer points of their disagreement, Nazlioglu was sent back to Sydney halfway through the trip after he “embarrassed” Mr Hawi in front of other people.
Nazlioglu, 38, is accused of shooting Mr Hawi through the front window of his car before fleeing in a silver grey Mercedes driven by Eljaidi, 32.
The crown allege they burned the first getaway car before then driving away in a silver Toyota Aurion, which was housed in a nearby garage at Highworth Ave, Bexley.
When the second getaway car was discovered a month later, a black balaclava was discovered in the front passenger footwell.
Police have alleged that Nazlioglu was wearing the balaclava at the time of the shooting and that gun shot residue and DNA consistent with his was found on it.
Mr Djemal said his client had nothing to do with the shooting and pointed out Nazlioglu was one of several people whose DNA was found on the item of clothing.
David Dalton SC, for Eljaidi, said there was a “paucity of evidence” against his client, whose DNA was also allegedly found on the Aurion’s interior and on a shopping bag which was inside the car.
But Mr Dalton said he would call on expert evidence that would prove that El Jaidi’s DNA could have been transferred from him to another person, who could have then placed it in the interior of the car.
The trial continues.
Source: The Australian by STEVE ZEMEK