Bernd Lehmann was found dead inside his Ashfield unit in 2008.Source:Supplied
The father of a former bike boss allegedly left bloody fingerprints on a statuette he used to bludgeon his lover to death and his semen was allegedly discovered inside his victim’s mouth, a court has heard.
Bernd Lehmann was brutally bashed and killed inside his Ashfield unit in inner western Sydney on Valentine’s Day in 2008.
Police allege taxi driver Naji Fakhreddine killed Mr Lehmann shortly after the German national performed oral sex on him and have charged him with murder.
The 66-year-old suffered serious head wounds during the attack, which police have previously described as “vicious”.
Mr Fakhreddine has been in jail since his arrest at an Arncliffe home in March but on Thursday applied to the NSW Supreme Court to be freed on bail, having denied the allegations against him.
The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Constable Margaret Ashburn, told the court that police would allege Mr Fakhreddine’s DNA had linked him to the crime scene.
However, Mr Fakhreddine’s barrister Peter Lange attacked the evidence against his client, saying there were inconsistencies relating to a key piece of evidence allegedly left at the scene.
According to a crown case statement tendered to the court, Mr Fakhreddine’s bloody fingerprints and palm prints were discovered on the statuette that was used to bash Mr Lehmann to death.
Naji Fakhreddine during his arrest earlier in the year. Picture: NSW PoliceSource:Supplied
However, Mr Lange pointed to statements made by crime scene investigators that made no mention of the fingerprints being bloody, and only mentioned fingerprints.
“It does not refer to the fingerprint being in blood, does it?” Mr Lange asked.
“No it doesn’t,” Constable Ashburn said.
The Party Games newsletter Get your political briefing from news.com.au’s political editor Samantha Maiden.
The Party Games newsletter Success! Check your inbox for details. See all newsletters
Constable Ashburn said she had been told by two other officers that the prints were in blood.
She described the discrepancy as an “oversight” and said she needed more time to source additional statements from the crime scene investigators.
Justice Peter Hamill said that the bloody fingerprints would hold considerable weight for the crown case, adding that if they were just fingerprints with no presence of blood, they could have been left there prior to the murder.
“I’m not underestimating the other things you rely on in terms of the strength of the case,” Justice Hamill said.
“But if there’s one compelling piece of forensic evidence, it seems to be (the bloody fingerprint).”
The court was told that Mr Fakhreddine’s DNA was also found on eight cigarette butts found inside Mr Lehmann’s lounge room, as well as on a swab from inside Mr Lehmann’s mouth during a post-mortem.
Mr Lange read from a forensic report that said the sample had been identified as semen, however the DNA of both Mr Fakhreddine and Mr Lehmann had been found on the swab.
“The swab does not distinguish between the origin, that is whether it was Mr Lehmann’s sperm or the applicant’s sperm,” Mr Lange said.
Bernd Lehmann was murdered on Valentine’s Day in 2008 in his Ashfield flat. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied
Police have alleged Mr Fakhreddine and Mr Lehmann were friends and lovers after meeting at the Wests Ashfield Leagues Club in the weeks prior to the murder.
Mr Fakhreddine’s lawyers have attempted to undermine the claim the pair engaged in sexual activity, saying the only evidence of this suggestion was from a witness who had since died and his testimony could not be tested in court.
However, crown prosecutor Jessica Chan told the court there was clear evidence they engaged in a sexual act before Mr Lehmann’s murder.
“As a matter of common sense, the crown submits that it would be implausible that it was the deceased’s own semen that was located in his own mouth,” Ms Chan said.
According to the prosecution, Mr Fakhreddine allegedly killed Mr Lehmann inside the Alt St unit before going to the sink to wash the blood off his hands.
The court was told it is further alleged Mr Fakhreddine slashed open a purple suitcase that was sitting at the end of Mr Lehmann’s bed.
Constable Ashburn said Mr Fakhreddine’s DNA was not found in the bathroom or on the suitcase.
Mr Lange further said that DNA belonging to a woman had also been found on the suitcase.
A $1m reward was offered in relation to Bernd Lehmann’s murder. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied
Mr Fakhreddine is the father of Hassan Fakhreddine, who was last year sentenced to at least eight years in prison for his role in a massive MDMA shipment.
The court was told on Thursday that Hassan Fakhreddine had told police he had patched out of the Lone Wolf bikie gang since being jailed alongside Michael Ibrahim.
The court was told that Naji Fakhreddine had a clean criminal record prior to his arrest.
Mr Lehmann’s death was the subject of a coronial inquest in 2012 that resulted in it being referred to the unsolved homicide unit.
Justice Hamill reserved his decision on the bail application and said he planned to hand down a ruling next week.Internet Explorer Channel Network