Salim Mehajer To Stand Trial Over Alleged Staged Car Crash
Salim Mehajer may have only uttered 10 words in court on Monday, but he’ll be forced to find his words when he stands trial over a staged car crash in Lidcombe two years ago.
The disgraced former deputy mayor was en route to court for assaulting a taxi driver in October 2017, but never made it.
He was hit by a Mitsubishi Outlander that had failed to stop at a Lidcombe intersection, smashing his Mercedes Benz to pieces and sending him to hospital.
But police allege Mehajar orchestrated the crash to avoid his day in court - and on Monday, that was all but confirmed.
His co-accused -- husband and wife duo, Michael Moufferrige and Nora Bush -- pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the crash, which police say not only sought to help Mehajer skip court but also to defraud NRMA Insurance.
Just days before the collision, Mehajer had insured his AMG Mercedes Benz for about $156,000 -- roughly $60,000 more than its actual value, according to police.
The pair admitted to dishonestly damaging property for financial gain, making a false call for an ambulance, and driving negligently.
Magistrate Daniel Reiss was quick to correct them on the last charge, labelling it “planned negligent driving”.
Bush, who was in the passenger seat of the Outlander that hit Mehajer, sobbed as she made her admission. She eventually became so overwhelmed that court staff brought in a chair for her to sit down on.
Her demeanour this time in court proved vastly different to her last appearance, where she yelled “f**k off you dogs” at reporters when exiting court.
They were unrepresented and will return to court in April -- two days before Mehajer is due back -- to settle the facts.
Moufferrige’s brother Elias, and his wife Malinda, were also caught up in the plot - charged with the same offences.
Together they’ll face a sentencing hearing in mid-April.
Another co-conspirator, Ahmed Jaghbir, pleaded guilty to one of his seven charges.
He told the court he was guilty of perverting the course of justice, although he didn’t agree with the NSW Police version of events.
Police facts tendered to court say Jaghbir attended a meeting the morning of the crash “where a diagram was drawn”, and in a recorded conversation days after, Jaghbir is alleged to have said the crash is “buying him time”.
The last of the six accused conspirators is Mehajer’s “soul mate”, Rafi Noori, who maintains his innocence.
He and Mehajer have been committed to stand trial later this year.