Man Accused Of Sydney Schoolgirl's Murder Denies Involvement
Vinzent Tarantino has repeatedly denied having anything to do with the kidnap and murder of missing south-west Sydney girl Quanne Diec during his trial.
Tarantino strode into the witness box saying “good morning members of the jury” as he walked past the panel of seven women and five men.
He’s the second witness for the defence case and his barrister Belinda Rigg SC got straight to the point.
“Were you involved in any way in the abduction or murder of Quanne Diec?” She asked.
The 52-year-old replied: “No I had no involvement in any way".
He said at the time he heard about the schoolgirl's disappearance but didn’t think much of it.
“It looked to me to have had all the hallmarks of an Asian kidnap ransom,” he said.
The court also heard a trip in a van to bushland south of Sydney wasn’t to bury Quanne’s body, but was instead done to bury unregistered guns and cocaine.
Tarantino has pleaded not guilty in the New South Wales Supreme Court to murdering 12-year-old Quanne, who vanished on July 27 in 1998 after leaving her Granville home to walk to the train station on her way to school.
Her body has never been found.
The jury has previously heard Tarantino confessed in 2016 to police that he'd strangled the girl in his father's house.
But Rigg SC has told the jury they were false admissions because he feared for his life and believed he was being pursued by bikies.
The former bouncer had witnessed a notorious bikie shoot out at an inner Sydney club in the years prior to Quanne’s disappearance.
Tarantino told the jury on Wednesday an ex-girlfriend whose previously given evidence about another confession – is a liar.
“Did you ever tell Laila Faily you strangled Quanne Diec?” Rigg SC asked.
“No that’s a total fabrication,” he replied.
“Did you ever tell her you’d raped her?”
“It makes me very angry when I hear that evidence. That was probably the worst fabrication.” He answered.
Tarantino also denied another of Faily’s accusations – that the pair had driven to bushland south of Sydney in a van that “smelled”.
Telling the court there was never anybody in the van.
Tarantino was told repeatedly to slow down as he sped through his evidence.
As he went off on tangent after tangent his own barrister and the judge told him to just stick to simple answers.
Three experts - one for the prosecution and two for the defence - last week told the jury Tarantino had been suffering from a psychotic condition for almost 20 years.
The trial continues.