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Bulgarian Hitman Charged Over Sydney Nightclub Owner Shooting Death

Greek police have charged a Bulgarian man over the murder of John Macris, the Sydney nightclub owner who was shot dead outside his Athens home on October 31.

A Bulgarian man has been charged in Greece over the suspected contract killing of Sydney nightclub identity John Macris, who was fatally shot outside his home in an Athens seaside suburb last year.

The suspect's brother is also wanted on suspicion of having helped plan the murder of Macris, 46, and driving the killer's getaway car, Greek authorities say.

The 33-year-old brother is believed to be in Bulgaria.

READ MORE: CCTV Captures The Moment Aussie Gangster Was Shot Dead

Greek police spokeswoman Ioanna Rotziokou said on Friday the suspects, whose names were not made public, spent nearly three weeks allegedly planning the murder.

"We have strong indications that ... it was a contract killing," she said. "They carefully organised the murder plan keeping the suspect under surveillance and using various rented vehicles."

Image: Greek City Times

It was unclear who had ordered the murder.

The 46-year-old Greek Australian was ambushed and shot multiple times at close range while exiting his car outside his home in the Voula suburb.

Police said the brothers fled to Bulgaria a day after the October 31 shooting, but the suspected murderer, aged 31, returned to Athens, possibly for another contract killing.

He was identified with the help of footage from cameras near the murder scene and arrested on Tuesday after trying to escape a police blockade in southern Athens, during which he allegedly rammed a patrol car with his vehicle.

The man was charged with murder. His lawyer, Apostolos Lytras, said his client denied any wrongdoing.

Greek media described Macris as a wealthy man, known to police in both Greece and Australia, with the nickname the "Australo".

Macris had earlier been the target of an alleged murder plot in Sydney.

Members of the Ibrahim family were in 2012 cleared of conspiring to kill Macris, who was believed by some to be linked to the shooting of Fadi Ibrahim.