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2013年8月10日 (土)

arrested a fortnight later

He was a millionaire at the age of 19 and had amassed assets worth $50 million by his mid-30s. But now at 47, Haissam Safetli is a convicted murderer.
Justice Megan Latham of the NSW Supreme Court has sentenced him to 6? years' jail for the murder of Sydney businessman Michael McGurk and six months for the subsequent intimidation of his widow
On the evening of September 3, 2009, Safetli and his teenage accomplice Christopher Estephan lay in wait for Mr McGurk across the road from his Cremorne home. Safetli told police that Mr Estephan had fired the fatal shot. The court heard that for months Safetli had been pressured to carry out the murder by Lucky Gattellari, who was acting on behalf of the alleged mastermind, property developer Ron Medich.
''A deliberate killing for payment has always been regarded as potentially within the worst category of the offence of murder … In this case, the victim was shot in  wall storage units the presence of his nine-year-old son, outside his family home,'' the judge said.
Justice Latham said the fact that the police could not prove who fired the fatal shot did not lessen Safetli's ''objective culpability for the murder''.
Safetli received a 60 per cent discount for  assisting police and an early guilty plea. According to the police statement of facts, police had installed a listening device at his home and heard him confessing to his family about his role in the murder and the
intimidation. A search of his house found not only a will but letters to his children begging their forgiveness
By early September in 2010, Safetli, aware that the police were closing in, offered to assist. He led them to the murder weapon, which had been thrown into Sydney Harbour. He also agreed to wear a wire.
Between September 15 and October 12, 2010, the police listened as Gattellari, his driver Senad Kaminic and Safetli discussed the pressure arising out of the secret hearings at the NSW Crime Commission. Gattellari and Kaminic tried to persuade Safetli to ''take the rap'' for all of them for the murder by making a handwritten confession excluding their involvement. In return they promised to pay for his defence and look after his family.
On October 13, 2010, Gattellari, Kaminic, Mr Estephan and Safetli were arrested. Mr Medich was arrested a fortnight later.
To date, all but Mr Estephan, 23, and Mr Medich, 65, have pleaded guilty and have received substantial discounts on their sentence. The pair are currently facing a committal hearing.
Last week magistrate Jan Stevenson, who is presiding over the committal hearing, urged Mr Estephan to consider his position. ''My only concern is he is the youngest, he is the last man standing,'' she told his lawyer.
Mr Estephan is facing the prospect of life in prison, while his accomplice will be eligible for release on October 13, 2017.

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