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Bikies go on trial over airport killing

Malcolm Brown

May 25, 2011

Six members of the Comanchero Motorcycle Club and one member of the Hells Angels went on trial in the Supreme Court in Parramatta this morning charged over a violent brawl at Sydney Airport in 2009 in which a man was killed.

On trial before Justice Robert Hulme are Mahmoud Hawi, 30, Farres Abounader, 29, Canan Eken, 28, Zoran Kisacanin, 24, Christian Menzies, 28, and Usama Potrus, 28.

Each has been charged with murder and riot and four have been additionally charged with affray.

The seventh man, David Padovan, 27, a member of the Hells Angels, has been charged with riot and affray.

The jury, empanelled this week from a pool of 3000 people, comprises eight men and seven women. Of these 15, 12 will eventually deliver verdicts in the trial, which is expected to take up to six months.

In her opening address, Crown prosecutor Natalie Adams went through the events at Gate 5 and at the check-in area at Sydney Airport's Domestic Terminal on March 22, 2009.

She went through the account of five Comanchero boarding a plane to Sydney and when they arrived recognised the president of the Hells Angels, Derek Wainohu.

She told the jury that there were a series of telephone calls and text messages and the result of that was that seven Hells Angels confronted a group of Comanchero at the airport and there was a violent confrontation seen by staff and other onlookers.

She said that, before the altercation, Anthony Zervas’s brother Peter was summoned by text message to come to the airport. Antony came with him.

Ms Adams said that Anthony Zervas, who was not a Hells Angel, had died of head injuries and stabbing and that the attack on him had continued when he was on the ground.

The trial continues.

Read more:

Bikie said he 'shanked' gang rival: court

Britt Smith

May 25, 2011


One of six Comanchero bikies accused of murdering a man in a brawl at Sydney airport said "I shanked him" and dropped a knife in a drain as he fled the scene, a jury has heard.

The short and unexpected fight, sparked by a "chance encounter" of rival gang members, culminated in the death of Anthony Zervas, the brother of Hells Angel Peter Zervas.

The court was told Mr Zervas was attacked with bollards, kicked, punched and stomped on as he lay on the floor of the domestic terminal.

He suffered "massive head injuries and stab wounds", Crown Prosecutor Natalie Adams said in her opening address in the NSW Supreme Court trial on Wednesday.

Comanchero bikies Mahmoud Hawi, Farres Abounader, Canan Eken, Zoran Kisacanin, Christian Menzies and Usama Potrus, have pleaded not guilty to murdering 29-year-old Mr Zervas in the March 2009 altercation.

Hells Angel David Padovan has denied a single charge of riot.

Ms Adams told the court Comanchero members travelling from Melbourne to Sydney "by chance" recognised Hells Angels boss Derek Wainohu on the same flight.

Hawi, the former Comanchero national president, stared and growled at Mr Wainohu before each side called for reinforcements, the court heard.

Anthony Zervas and his brother had been helping paint a house when they received a message to head for the airport.

Meanwhile, Comanchero members also began making their way there.

An altercation occurred at Gate 5, allegedly sparked by Hawi or Mr Wainohu, who one witness said "got punched" and fell to the ground.

Mr Wainohu didn't take any further part in the violence, the crown said.

According to another witness, Hawi threatened the retreating Hells Angels, saying: "You're a dead man walking".

A second brawl broke out and moved through the check-in area as airport staff and passengers looked on, but there was no clear CCTV footage of the assault because the nearest camera wasn't working that day, the court heard.

But Ms Adams said evidence suggested the victim "was involved in the fighting from the start and was chased by Comanchero as the fighting erupted".

One witness described seeing Mr Zervas "swing at Hawi in an upward direction" resulting in Hawi being cut on the arm.

Others have described seeing up to five bollards in the air at the same time, and up to four men attacking Mr Zervas, who had a high level of cocaine in his system, the court heard.

Hawi's DNA was found under the victim's fingernails and broken scissor handles were located near the body, with the remainder of the scissors embedded in his jacket.

As the men fled, Menzies is alleged to have to have admitted "he thought he killed him" while Abounader allegedly said to an associate "I shanked him, I want to drop it", before discarding a knife in a drain.

Ms Adams said the crown case is that both scissors and a knife could have been used to inflict the stab wounds.

The trial, before Justice Robert Allan Hulme, is expected to last six months.

2011 AAP

Airport brawl victim was attacker, bikie trial hears

26 May, 2011 01:12 PM


Members of the Hells Angels allegedly attacked by rival bikies, the Comanchero, at Sydney Airport - leading to the death of Anthony Zervas - were the aggressors, counsel told the Supreme Court at Parramatta, this morning.


Philip Dunn, QC, for defendant Mahmoud Hawi, president of the Comanchero said that Mr Hawi's claim was that he had been attacked in the arrivals hall by Anthony Zervas.


He said the defence case was that Mr Zervas had actually run to attack Mr Hawi.


Mr Hawi, together with five other members of the Comanchero, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Anthony Zervas, who suffered stab wounds and a fractured skull during the altercation on March 22, 2009.


Mr Dunn said that there had been hostility between the two clubs and that Anthony Zervas, brother of Hells Angels member Peter Zervas, had driven all the way from Wollongong when alerted that their club president, who was on the plane, might be in trouble from the Comanchero.


He said that a post-mortem examination found Mr Zervas had traces of cocaine and other drugs such as methadone and benzodiazepine in his system.


He said it was up to the jury to decide whether those drugs were significant.


He said that when Mr Zervas and the Comanchero gang members were coming together, one of the Comanchero had yelled out "he's got a nug" (gun spelt backwards).


Mr Dunn said that, after the altercation, police had found knuckledusters, a baton and a broom handle with a sharpened end.


Mr Dunn said it might have been that Mr Zervas had been the attacker and had assaulted Mr Hawi with a pair of scissors or a knife and it was possible that Mr Hawi had been stabbed in the head because he was seen by witnesses to be bleeding.


If Mr Hawi had been stabbed, he was entitled to defend himself.


The trial continues.


Murdered man provoked bikie leader, court told

By court reporter Jamelle Wells

Posted May 26, 2011 13:38:00

Anthony Zervas, 29, was killed in a fight at Sydney Airport in March 2009.

Anthony Zervas, 29, was killed in a fight at Sydney Airport in March 2009. (AAP: Steven Siewert/Pool)

A trial for six Comanchero bikies accused of murdering a man at Sydney Airport has heard their leader was provoked by the victim.

Opening the defence case for the Comancheros, Philip Dunn, the lawyer for their leader Mick Hawi, said Hawi's behaviour during the violent airport brawl was "a case of reactions - not actions".

He reminded the Supreme Court jury sitting at Parramatta that his client has pleaded not guilty.

Anthony Zervas, the 29-year-old brother of a Hells Angels bikie, was killed in the March 2009 fight.

The crown case is that Mr Zervas was chased before being bashed with metal bollards, stabbed and kicked.

The jurors have previously heard that the brawl started after a chance meeting between members of the rival clubs on a domestic flight from Melbourne.

But Mr Dunn said prosecutors have "started on the wrong track" because there is evidence that Mr Zervas ran at Hawi to try to attack him first.

Referring to witness accounts he said "one eyewitness varies to another".

The trial, before Justice Robert Allan Hulme, is expected to last six months.

Airport passengers and staff will be among the witnesses.

Comanchero bikies Hawi, Farres Abounader, Ishmail Eken, Zoran Kisacanin, Christian Menzies and Usama Potrus, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Zervas.

Hells Angel David Padovan has pleaded not guilty to a charge of riot.



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