A Sydney underworld figure was in bed with a woman he ‘may have been having an affair with’ when assassins burst into his unit and executed him in a hail of bullets, a court has heard.
Kemel ‘Blackie’ Barakat, 29, was murdered by masked assailants as he allegedly slept alongside Fatima Hage at his unit in Mortlake, in the city’s south, about 2.30am on March 10, 2017.
His one-time friend, Ahmed Jaghbir, 31, is standing trial at the New South Wales Supreme Court charged with being an accessory before the fact to murder.
Jaghbir is accused of handing Barakat’s killers a key to his unit block after recently helping ‘Blackie’ fix his front door, which police had smashed down.
Witness Ms Hage came under cross-examination during Jaghbir’s trial on Tuesday where she was grilled over allegedly posting a Snapchat image of his body and denied opening the door for the killers.
And in a sordid twist, Jaghbir’s defence lawyer, Gregory James QC, suggested Barakat was having an affair with her when he died.
Fatima Hage may have been having an affair with Sydney crime figure Kemal ‘Blackie’ Barakat and was in his bed when he was allegedly killed in a hail of bullets, a court has heard
Ms Hage and a friend worked desperately to try and shield her face from photographers outside the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday
Slain Sydney crime figure Kemel ‘Blackie’ Barakat is pictured with his wife, who Daily Mail Australia has chosen not to name
On left: Sydney crime figure Kemel Barakat prior to his death at home in the city’s south in March 2017. On right: Ahmed Jaghbir, above, is standing trial accused of being an accessory before the fact to Barakat’s slaying
Ms Hage allegedly told her close friend Candice Charyoub after the shooting that she was worried ‘the boys’ would be angry at her, the court heard.
Mr James asked Ms Hage if she was worried they would be angry because ‘you might have been having an affair with Mr Barakat?’
‘I don’t know,’ Ms Fage said.
In evidence this week, Ms Hage claimed in court that she was asleep in bed with Barakat at the time of his killing.
She claimed she woke up to a group of men shouting in Mr Barakat’s unit before he was gunned down next to her.
CCTV footage tendered as evidence showed a group of men entering Barakat’s apartment building through a rear fire door, gaining entry to his apartment and then fleeing in a stolen Mercedes C63 wagon which was later found burnt-out at Belmore.
Barakat was married to another woman at the time of the incident. Daily Mail Australia reported four years ago that she was in Thailand at the time of his killing.
The trial heard this week that Ms Hage may have allegedly sent a Snapchat photo pronouncing he was dead, immediately following the killing.
‘A Snapchat photo … had gone forth to the world indicating he was dead,’ Mr James told the court in his opening address.
In the witness box, Ms Hage denied sending the Snapchat, claiming she could not remember many events of the evening.
Ms Hage (right) hides her face behind a handbag as her friend Candice Charyoub attempts to protect her from photographers on Tuesday
Ms Hage told the Supreme Court at trial on Tuesday that Barakat was ‘anal’ about security at his home – which was clearly foiled with fatal consequences. His wife is pictured on right
The court heard Ms Hage later told her friend Candice Chayoub in a text message: ‘Yes I’m just worried all the boys will be angry at me.’
When Mr James asked: ‘Were you worried at any stage about the boys being angry at you?’ Ms Hage said she did not remember who ‘the boys’ were.
Mr James accused Ms Hage of deleting some messages from her phone after the incident.
He also accused her of keeping Barakat’s phone on her person until it started to ring in her bag while she stood with a police officer.
She told the court she could not remember that: ‘I don’t deny picking it up, because i can’t remember picking up that phone.
‘(Police would) have every record that’s happened on that phone’.
Police found a burnt out car in Belmore shortly following Barakat’s assassination in Mortlake, in Sydney’s south
Accused murder accessory Jaghbir, right, with his lawyer Mahmoud Abbas at court earlier this week
In re-examination, Crown prosecutor Christopher Taylor asked Ms Fage: ‘Did you have anything to do with the murder?’
‘Of course not, no,’ she said.
Ms Hage and her friend Candice Charyoub leave court together on Tuesday
Ms Fage denied telling anyone how to access the building via the fire stairs or opening the door to anyone before her bed buddy was murdered.
Mr Taylor asked her to explain how she felt at the time of the killing.
In dramatic evidence, Ms Fage said: ‘My emotional state was, still is, “wish they had taken me with them.”
‘I wish that I didn’t make it.’
‘I just thought I was dead, I was going to die …
‘They could’ve just done me a favour and ended it’.
The judge-alone trial continues before Justice David Davies.