Gazi Safarjalani Biography — Wiki
Gazi Safarjalani is a Sydney man who was reportedly jailed for at least two decades for the 2014 execution-style murder of his close friend has won his appeal and been acquitted of the crime. Safarjalani was sentenced in February 2019 after an NSW Supreme Court jury found him guilty.
Gazi Safarjalani Age
Gazi Safarjalani is 39 years old.
Gazi Safarjalani for two decades over the murder of his close friend
Gazi Safarjalani was sentenced in February 2019 after an NSW Supreme Court jury found him guilty of murdering Bill Panagakos who was gunned down on a dark suburban street on his 45th birthday.
He was approached by two men at a Petersham intersection late on March 4 in 2014 before he was shot five times, including three times in the head. In jailing Mr. Safarjalani, Justice Michael Walton found he was part of a joint criminal enterprise to kill his friend but an unknown man pulled the trigger.
Justice Lucy McCallum, sitting with Justices Geoffrey Bellew and Robertson Wright, quashed the conviction and sentence and substituted a verdict of acquittal.
Mr. Safarjalani, who once ran a coffee shop with Mr. Panagakos, had contended he saw his friend being shot and deliberately chose not to tell police he was present. After his arrest, in February 2017, he was secretly recorded saying: ‘It’s not a pretty sight seeing something like that’ and ‘that’s why I went crazy’.
What we know so far
While the prosecutor submitted that a likely motive related to a dispute involving prohibited drugs, Justice Walton said the motive remained unclear.
‘There is no evidence as to whether the two men arrived together at the intersection where the deceased was shot,’ she said.
Mr. Gazi Safarjalani’s conduct in fleeing from the scene, disposing of his phone, not attending his long-time friend’s funeral and telling a series of lies to police is capable of establishing a consciousness of guilt of murder, the judge said.
But Justice McCallum said this was equally capable of supporting a hypothesis inconsistent with guilt of murder, namely, that Mr Safarjalani didn’t know his friend was going to be shot until it happened.
At the time of the murder sentence, Mr. Safarjalani was awaiting sentence on a charge of aiding and abetting the importation of methamphetamine, which took place months after the shooting.