The two men accused of gunning down former bikie boss Mick Hawi in a daring daylight execution have been found not guilty.
Yusuf Nazlioglu was alleged to have fired a volley of shots into the ex-Comanchero national chief’s black Mercedes four-wheel drive before being driven off by accused getaway driver Jamal Eljaidi.
Nazlioglu, 39, and Eljaidi, 32, who both pleaded not guilty to murder, were on Thursday found not guilty by a jury after a three-and-a-half week Supreme Court trial.
Hawi died in hospital after being shot multiple times in the head, face and shoulder outside a Rockdale gym in Sydney’s south on February 15, 2018.
Nazlioglu’s defence attacked his alleged motive as “weak” after the pair were purported to have fallen out during a Central Coast fishing trip in 2016.
His widow, Carolina Gonzales, told the court Mr Hawi was left embarrassed by Nazlioglu’s actions and it ended his relationship with his once close friend.
But Nazlioglu’s barrister Avni Djemal described the possible motive put forward by the prosecution as lacking sense.
CCTV footage played to the jury during the trial showed a black-clad gunman firing a series of shots into Mr Hawi’s car before being driven off in a silvery-grey Mercedes, which was later found burned out in a nearby Rockdale street.
The pair were alleged to have then used a second getaway car — a silver Toyota Aurion, which was later found abandoned.
Gunshot residue and DNA consistent with Nazlioglu’s was found on a balaclava found inside the car.
The balaclava also contained the DNA of several other people.
DNA matching Eljaidi was also found on the car’s interior however his barrister David Dalton SC argued he could his client, who was a panel beater by trade, could have transferred it while working on the vehicle.
Eljaidi’s defence also claimed he was too tall to be the getaway driver who was seen on CCTV running away near the scene of Mr Hawi’s murder.
Mr Eljaidi measured 199cm tall however estimates of the men who were seen sprinting away after the first getaway car was set on fire put the tallest of the two men at 186.4cm, with a 7cm margin of error.