National

Gym worker tells of ducking in Hawi murder

By AAP Newswire

A gym receptionist has spoken of feeling glass behind her neck as a gunman executed Sydney identity Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi outside the front doors of her workplace.

Stephanie Nicolaou was at the front desk of Fitness First in Rockdale in February 2018 when she saw a man dressed in a black hoodie walk towards Mr Hawi's car, which was parked within metres of the gym's front doors.

"The next minute, I heard bang bang bang," she told the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday.

"I didn't know what was happening until I saw the bullet holes on the other side."

Yusuf Guney Nazlioglu, 38, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his former close friend.

Ms Nicolaou said she hid behind the gym's front desk when she realised she was metres from the firing gun.

"I panicked and tried to duck for cover," she said.

"I initially felt glass hit down behind my neck."

Another eyewitness, gym customer Matthew Kellaway, drove into the car park and parked his car just seconds before the fatal shots were fired.

He heard loud bangs, looked into his rear-view mirror and saw a balaclava-clad man dressed all in black at the car.

"It was a fairly animated sort of thing, (he was) reaching into the car a little bit and then they sprinted off pretty quickly," Mr Kellaway told the trial on Wednesday.

Mr Kellaway grabbed a medical care bag from his car and found Mr Hawi unresponsive in the car.

He conceded in cross-examination that his view of the incident was through two rows of parked cars and it was of a "very short" duration.

CCTV from a camera across the road from the gym car park showed the gunman reach into Mr Hawi's car, fire the shots and then sprint to a waiting car.

That car, allegedly driven by Jamal Eljaidi who has also pleaded not guilty to murder, was torched minutes after the shooting, the jury has been told.

The men are accused of moving into a second car, found in Rosebery a month later with a balaclava in a front seat footwell.

DNA consistent with Eljaidi's was found in that car but his barrister has suggested secondary transfer could be involved.

Nazlioglu denies being the balaclava-clad gunman, with his barrister telling the jury on Tuesday others had a greater motive to kill.

Mr Hawi became national president of the Comancheros at just 22 but relinquished the role in 2009 when he was sent to prison.

He later had tension with Comancheros leader Mark Buddle but Mr Hawi's wife, Carolina Gonzalez, told the trial on Tuesday it was not bikie related.

Ms Nicolaou is expected to resume her evidence on Friday after technical difficulties impacted her ability to video-call from interstate.

The trial is due to resume on Thursday with other witnesses testifying.