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The 'serial killer', the secret trials and the gangland hit we couldn't show you — until now – ABC News

The 'serial killer', the secret trials and the gangland hit we couldn't show you — until now 
Moments after being handed three consecutive life sentences, a ruthless gangland killer complained about the decision to his fellow gangmate and murderer over a court's video stream.
"Triple life? Is that f***ing serious?" Siar Munshizada said, holding up a piece of paper reading "bias dog".
His mate Josh Baines, who had just received a 36-year prison term for his role in killing Pasquale Barbaro, was more relaxed.
"F*** him who cares, brother, what do you do?"
They commented on the large number of people who were dialled into the Supreme Court video link to watch their landmark sentencing proceedings on Friday.
"Any hot girls?" Munshizada asked with a smile.
"I can't see them," Baines laughed.
They began discussing what jails they'd like to be sent to before their conversation was cut short when the video link terminated.
It was a brief insight into the psyche of Abuzar Sultani's murder squad, who a Supreme Court judge described as having a "deep gratification for killing others".
For the members of Sultani's crew, court appearances provided an opportunity to catch up with the "brothers" they've been separated from since their arrest five years ago.
The day before their sentencing, at a different court hearing, the men joked about gangland events unfolding outside prison.
Mirwais Danishyar, now convicted for being an accessory to Barbaro's murder, laughed as he discussed media reports labelling an alleged Sydney crime figure "obese".
Later on, only Baines and Munshizada remained on the video link.
Baines scribbled something on a piece of paper and showed it to the camera so Munshizada could see.
"Serial killer," it read, in reference to Justice Des Fagan's description of Sultani and Munshizada.
Both men cracked up.
Despite being one of the biggest murder cases in Sydney's history, the media had been banned from reporting on any of the proceedings for more than three years.
CCTV footage played before juries in the Supreme Court showed the moments Barbaro, 35, and Mehmet Yilmaz were killed in separate drive-by shootings a month apart.
Sydney gangland murderers Abuzar Sultani and Siar Munshizada are given life prison sentences for the killing of three underworld figures, while two other men are jailed for a combined 51 years over their roles in one of the hits.
Barbaro could be seen running for his life after being ambushed on an Earlwood street, and Yilmaz was unlocking his car when he was shot dead.
Up until Thursday lawyers for the men were fighting to keep the verdicts delivered months ago secret well into next year, worried about how media reporting could impact other court matters.
Defence barrister Thomas Woods said there would be a blitz of sensational stories published, not because of a media beat-up, but because it had been the most extraordinary tale.
"There really is no case like this case," he said.
There were a total of seven trials held for Munshizada, Baines and Danishyar over the course of 12 months, all under strict suppression orders.
Their leader, Sultani, pleaded guilty to the 2016 murders of underworld contemporaries Michael Davey, Yilmaz and Barbaro.
To the outside world, Sultani was a commerce graduate studying an MBA at Macquarie University and a young man forging connections in Sydney's construction industry.
But to those who knew him best, "Abs" was the deadliest hitman in town.
He ran the Rebels Burwood chapter as president before taking his men and forming an independent criminal organisation which he directed.
Far from letting underlings do the dirty work, Sultani led his inner circle in a seventh-month execution spree and pulled the trigger in the three murders.
He later told a psychologist in jail ongoing threats to his life "contributed to me being desensitised" to killing.
Being shot at in the street was "the norm" to him, as was using guns to settle disputes.
Sultani's Sydney Olympic Park unit served as the base for his criminal cartel and police bugs caught the main players coming and going frequently.
His "foot soldier", Munshizada, was convicted by juries in three separate trials for the murders of Davey, Yilmaz and Barbaro.
Pending any appeals, he and Sultani will both spend the rest of their lives behind bars after being given prison sentences without an end date.
Sydney gangster Pasquale Barbaro was killed in 2016. After three secret trials, the details of his underworld execution can finally be revealed.
Baines was found guilty at trial of Barbaro's murder, while Danishyar was found guilty of being an accessory before and after the fact.
He was jailed for at least 11 years.
Munzhizada was found to be the second shooter in the murder of Davey after he was lured by Sultani's associate into a Kingswood street under the guise of a drug deal.
The now 33-year-old drove to the spot where Yilmaz was gunned down outside a St Marys home, with Sultani hanging half his body out the back window to hit his target.
Yilmaz died just metres from his fiancee, who witnessed the drive-by shooting unfold before her eyes.
Munshizada was also behind the wheel of a stolen Audi when it rolled up alongside Barbaro's Mercedes sportscar in Earlwood on November 14, 2016.
The court heard his driving was so precise the back passenger window lined up so perfectly with the front passenger window of Barbaro's car that Baines had a clear shot at their target.
Baines unloaded at least three fatal shots into Barbaro.
Sultani got out of the Audi and chased the 35-year-old down Larkhall Avenue, shooting him in the neck and head, killing him instantly.
Danishyar, the fourth member who faced trials over the murders, was driving Sultani's WRX around the Strathfield area waiting for a message.
He had dropped the trio off at where the Audi was parked in Belmore before the hit and picked them up when it was set on fire in Concord afterwards.
Both he and Baines were also trialled for Yilmaz's murder but were acquitted at trial — with Baines's not guilty verdict coming after a retrial.
Crown prosecutor David Patch argued Munshizada should be jailed for life at a sentence hearing on December 8, despite his barrister's argument he was only a "pawn" in Sultani's deadly game.
"He was not deceived by Mr Sultani's facade as a successful businessman," Mr Patch said.
"He was an active member of a serious criminal gang and he knew that right from the start."
Judge Fagan remarked during Danishyar's sentence hearing "he too shared the arrogant and immoral belief (of his gangmates) that they had the entitlement to extinguish the life of another person".
Baines's barrister also argued he was just following orders when he jumped in the Audi on the night of Barbaro's execution.
It was put to Justice Fagan he had no clue the murder would unfold when approached by Sultani that day, but the judge said if that was true then Baines's willingness to participate at short notice did not help him.
Baines helped carry out a "carefully calculated, cold-blooded assassination", Justice Fagan said, "and said afterwards he loved the feeling".
That was a reference to a series of encrypted emails found on gang members' phones after their arrests on November 29, 2016.
The texts also captured Munshizada revelling in Barbaro's death: "The dog is dead lol sent back to our creator to confess his sins and scummy acts lol."
During one of Danishyar's trials he allegedly threatened Crown prosecutor Alex Morris and his instructing solicitor from the dock and was later charged by police.
Munshizada's brother also allegedly threatened Judge Fagan in the court corridors, while his father allegedly approached a juror at Museum station in Sydney's CBD.
Motives for all three murders were held only by Sultani, the court heard, but his henchman did not hesitate to assist in the slayings.
In sentencing, Judge Fagan said the killings were carried out "in part to enhance the Sultani group's reputation for ruthlessness".
Barbaro's death was the result of a "personal hatred" harboured by Sultani, who believed the mafia figure was involved in the murder of his friend Joe Antoun.
Sultani told his psychologist Barbaro had threatened to cut his head off: "I waited for the opportunity to get him before he got me."
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