Two Sydney men sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Lebanese crime figure Ahmed Fahda outside a service station in 2003 have had the charges against them dropped by the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mr Fahda, 25, was shot 20 times at a service station in the south-west Sydney suburb of Punchbowl in October, 2003, as part of a long-running and violent feud between his family and another Lebanese family, the Darwiches.
Two men associated with the Darwiche family, Ramzi Aoud and Nasaem El-Zayet, were sentenced to life in prison over the murder in 2006, with Supreme Court Justice Virginia Bell declaring that their roles in commissioning the murder amounted to "extreme" culpability.
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In August last year the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal ordered that Aoud and El-Zayet be retried following revelations that a key witness in their trial had falsely claimed that he saw them at the service station.
Today in Central Local Court the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions announced that the charges against them had been dropped completely.
Legal Aid, which represented the two men in their trial, have indicated that they will now sue the DPP for legal costs.
Smh.com.au is waiting for a full explanation from the DPP as to why the charges have been dropped.
The appeal made last year was upheld, in part, because of new evidence showing that the witness, Bassam Said's, testimony at the trial was wrong.
The false nature of Mr Said's testimony was revealed in a conversation he had with one of Sydney's most high profile Muslim leaders, Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali, which the sheikh later revealed to police.
In a sworn affidavit Sheikh al-Hilali told police: "He (Bassam Said) said to me, 'I swear, father Sheikh, what I saw with my own eyes, I did say in my first statement. I assure you and I swear by Allah to you that I did not recognise the killers, I did not recognise anyone. However the police do not believe me and the continue to insist and put pressure on me and ask me to confess that I recognise the killers'."
In ordering the retrial, the court found that police had known about this conversation but failed to disclose this during the murder trial.
Aoud and El-Zayet will not be released from jail despite the charges against them being dropped as both are currently serving extended jail sentences for another 2003 murder in the south-west Sydney suburb of Greenacre.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/dpp-drops-...#ixzz1wWLXsQGL
heres some history on the shiek who's evidence got the charges dropped