Five charged over crown witness execution

Five people, including a husband and wife, an alleged hitman and a former kick boxer, have been linked to the contract killing of a crown witness.

A man is arrested over the death of Gemahl Maika

Five people, including a hitman, have been linked to the contract killing of a crown witness. (AAP)

A former Australian boxing champion, a self-described hitman and the wife of a crime kingpin have been caught up in the alleged murder of a crown witness.

They are among five people being linked by police to the three-year-old murder of Gemahl Maika, gunned down outside his home in April, 2011, at Glen Alpine in Sydney's southwest.

The "execution", police say, was due to Mr Maika's status as a crown witness in a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring case.

Strike force officers took down the highly-lucrative Golden Gun syndicate in a series of dramatic raids in 2007, discovering its key players living the high life.

Luxury cars, almost $200 million in cash, drugs, Versace furnishings and a gold plated magnum handgun were among the items seized.

After Mr Maika gave statements to police about the racket, he was killed in an alleged contract hit.

Police say the 38-year-old declined offers for witness protection.

Following three years of detective work, a series of stings over Wednesday and Thursday led to the arrest of five people in relation to Mr Maika's murder.

Alleged trigger man, Maxamillian Mazzilli, is accused of collecting $200,000 to carry out the hit.

Parramatta Local Court heard on Thursday Mazzilli had told an undercover police officer he was a "hitman" and Mr Maika had "snitched on things he shouldn't have snitched on".

His lawyer Paul McGirr claimed there was no forensic evidence linking his client to Mr Marika's Glen Alpine home on the day of the alleged murder.

However, prosecutor William Jarboue said Mazzilli knew "minute details" of the death that were outside the reach of a Google search.

Among the incriminating information logged in the undercover operation, the court heard, was Mazzilli knowing Mr Maika's family were inside the home when he was shot.

Meanwhile, underworld figure Luke Sparos, 33, was charged with Maika's murder on Thursday.

Sparos, who was due to appear in Lithgow Local Court, was an integral figure in the Golden Gun syndicate.

He allegedly tasked his wife Christine Saliba to source a gun while he was in jail, a Sydney court heard.

Anthony Saliba, 29, who is also accused of sourcing a gun and murder, sobbed when he appeared in court on Thursday.

His lawyer Abigail Bannister said Saliba, a hard working handyman with three jobs, was pulled into Sparos' scheme.

Former world and Australian kick boxing champion Adam Keith Watt is accused of meeting Sparos in Long Bay jail in January 2011 and discussing sourcing a weapon.

The court heard he allegedly told Sparos "I got a 22 for $5000".

Watt was hit over the head with a sandwich maker by a jail inmate in 2009 and suffered a serious brain injury.

His lawyer John Korn said the prosecution case was weak and his client was not involved in the shooting.

Watt and Saliba were granted bail but will remain behind bars at least until a prosecution appeal against the decision is heard.

Mazzilli was refused bail.

3 min read
Published 3 July 2014 at 6:01am