Ahmed Jaghbir (right) is a former business partner of colourful Sydney personality Salim Mehajer, the pair briefly running a wedding planning business together. There’s no suggestion Mehajer is in any way involved in this case
Salim Mehajer’s business partner has been jailed for 11 years after he supplied hitmen with a key to an underworld figure’s house, so they could execute him in bed with his mistress.
Ahmed Jaghbir, 30, was sentenced on Wednesday over his role in the death of Hells Angels’ associate Kemel ‘Blackie’ Barakat at home in Sydney’s south in March 2017.
Four armed assassins stormed Barakat’s Mortlake unit as he slept with his secret lover, Fatima Hage, about 2.30am on March 10.
He died in a hail of bullets and his masked killers have never been identified.
Justice David Davies told the Supreme Court today that Jaghbir had played a major role in Barakat’s death by betraying the underworld figure and supplying his killers with a key.
‘(Jaghbir’s) role in providing the key was a significant one,’ the judge told a packed but socially-distanced courtroom.
Secret lover: Kemel Barakat was in bed with hairdresser Fatima Hage at the time of his shooting death on March 10, 2017. She gave a vivid statement to a court about the events of that night
Love triangle: Barakat is seen above with his wife Amanda. She was overseas holidaying in Thailand at the time of the killing
Barakat had turned to Jaghbir for help after his front door was busted by police during a raid days earlier.
Jaghbir arranged to have the door replaced and supplied his friend Barakat – already worried he could be targeted by his enemies – with a new key.
But Justice Davies was convinced Jaghbir also gave a key to someone else – one of the four hitmen – allowing the murderers to surprise Barakat at his Mortlake unit.
Murdered: Hell’s Angels associate Kemel Barakat was shot dead in his bed
The assassins were already in Barakat’s bedroom before he and his mistress, Fatima Hage, realised something was wrong, the judge said.
Barakat was gunned down in his bed about 2.30am, giving his confused lover a shove away before he was struck by a hail of bullets.
CCTV footage showed the killers scrambling down the stairs and the burned-out husk of a getaway car was later found nearby in Belmore.
At trial, the judge found that Barakat’s secret lover Ms Hage was a ‘credible’ witness.
They had been together only for a month and Barakat’s wife, Amanda, was holidaying overseas in Thailand at their time of their liaison.
In an extraordinary statement tendered at trial, Ms Hage described the night of the assassination in simple, vivid terms.
She detailed how the room smelled ‘like fire’ after the bullets flew, Barakat’s hushed final prayers in Arabic and the blood that trickled from his mouth at the end.
Police found a burnt out car in Belmore shortly following Barakat’s assassination in Mortlake, in Sydney’s south
The crime scene in Mortlake on March 10, 2017. Barakat’s unit was on the second floor
In her statement, Ms Hage recalled her confusion about the intruders in the room.
‘I heard Kemel yell out “hey”. I looked around but the room was pitch black. I could not see anything,’ she said.
‘I felt him push my head really hard. I didn’t fall out of the bed but it moved me away from him.
‘I then heard multiple gunshots. It was really loud, it smelled like fire in the room.’
Kemel was coughing … He said “I’m sorry”
Ms Hage said she closed her eyes and put her head down.
‘At this point I knew I was going to die.
‘I didn’t hear anyone say anything, I thought I was dead.
‘About a minute went by and I moved from where I put my head down.
‘I checked myself and I wasn’t shot. I then moved over to Kemel.
‘Kemel was coughing and he looked at me.
‘He said: ‘I’m sorry.’
‘I said: “Don’t be sorry … Repeat after me”.
‘We then went through an Arabic prayer twice before Kemel stopped breathing.
‘I turned on the light and saw Kemel lying on the bed. I saw he had blood coming out of his mouth.
‘I remember seeing a bullet that looked like it had gone through his leg.’
Ms Hage told the court she couldn’t remember much else. She was in shock.
‘I didn’t know if whoever shot him was still in the house so I hid in the bathroom and called 000.
‘I asked for ambulance. I can’t remember what I said to them.’
Ms Hage (on right in left picture, and in right photo) is seen after giving evidence at the trial of Ahmed Jaghbir earlier this year
Ms Hage told the court earlier this year that Barakat had been ‘anal’ about security and their relationship had been a secret to everyone.
‘No one knew about our relationship, we didn’t want to tell anyone so our private lives remained private,’ she said in her statement.
Justice Davies found Jaghbir guilty to the charge of procuring, aiding and counselling unknown persons to murder him earlier this year.
On Wednesday, the judge said he had found no evidence of remorse from Jaghbir, who has always denied the charge.
He said Jaghbir was not ‘indispensable’ to the murder plot – but his actions had helped the killers move ‘expeditiously’.
Jaghbir was sentenced to an 11 year jail term, with a non-parole period of six years and six months.
He will be eligible for release on April 9, 2027.
Jaghbir is on right, and is seen above with his lawyer Mahmoud Abbas at court during his trial. Jaghbir has been jailed for up to 11 years with a non parole period of six-and-a-half years