Brutal story ends as kneecapper freed
March 15, 2013
Some time on Friday Saleh Jamal will walk out of the South Coast Correctional Centre at Nowra as a free man.
Few on the street will recognise his bearded face or his name.
But the police who worked at Lakemba police station in November 1998 will remember, and the news of his release is likely to raise more than a few hackles.
Drive-by: Lakemba Police Station. Photo: Steven Siewart
In 1998 the notorious ''DK's Boys'' gang carried out a drive-by shooting on the Lakemba police station that left the building a mess of shattered glass, and much of Sydney in a state of uproar.
The shooting had five officers ducking for cover as 16 bullets from semi-automatic pistols passed through the station's foyer windows. Then police commissioner Peter Ryan pledged to track down those responsible and to make the streets of Sydney safe.
In May 2009 Jamal became the only person found guilty over the shooting as charges against the other men were dropped or not proven beyond reasonable doubt. He was later sentenced to a maximum of 12 years' jail for a range of charges including shooting with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Burnt out: Police inspect the vehicle. Photo: Steven Siewart
Last Friday Jamal was quietly acquitted in the Downing Centre District Court after a 12-day retrial.
''Thank you, your honour, may God bless you and your family,'' a jubilant Jamal said.
The acquittal by Judge Steven Norrish coincided with the end of a nine-year jail sentence Jamal was serving for kneecapping a rival drug dealer at Greenacre in October 1998, a month before the Lakemba shooting.
''God willing I will be released next Friday,'' he told the court.
Jamal's release is a remarkable twist in what has been a dramatic and at times brutal and bloody story. For more than a decade the 37-year-old was one of the key members of DK's Boys, named after their leader Danny Karam, who ultimately perished in a hail of bullets from his own gang mates.
During the 1990s DK's Boys challenged Sydney's major players for a slice of the city's illegal drug market and, briefly, for a piece of the Kings Cross nightclub scene, with a brutal strategy that involved kneecappings and multiple murders.
In 2004, after being arrested and charged over the Lakemba shoot-out, Jamal fled to Lebanon with a false passport while on bail.
There he was subsequently arrested and jailed by the Lebanese government on charges of possessing weapons and explosives, planning acts that endangered state security, and possessing a false passport.
His five-year sentence for these crimes was later cut to two years after a Lebanese court ruled that only the passport conviction could be upheld.
In October 2006 he was extradited to Sydney where, in 2008, he was sentenced to nine years' jail for the 1998 kneecapping of a rival drug dealer at Greenacre.
The gang combusted in a fight with police on a White City tennis court in December 2008.
Last year, Jamal's conviction was quashed on appeal and a re-trial ordered.
Among the main reasons for the decision by the three-judge panel of the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal was that Jamal had not been permitted to accompany the jury when, as part of the trial, it visited the scene of the alleged crime.
In the Downing District Court this month Jamal faced the lesser charge of discharging a firearm in a public place.
He was found not guilty by Judge Norrish, hearing the matter without a jury.
He will hand down his reasons for the decision later this month.
Man jailed over cop shop shooting attack
By Janet Fife-Yeomans
The Daily Telegraph
May 28, 2010
A FORMER gang member has been jailed twelve years after a shooting attack on a Sydney police station.
Saleh Jamal will be behind bars at least until 2016 for his role in the attack on Lakemba police station in 1998.
Officers dived for their lives as a volley of bullets smashed into the station glass doors.
“This attack was committed as an act of revenge against the police out of a misguided belief that they were unfairly targeting Lebanese,” she said.
The judge said they aimed to intimidate police and deter them from carrying out heir lawful duties.
Jamal, 35, was convicted by jury of discharging a firearm with intend to cause grievous bodily harm
He was a member of “DK’s Boys” an organised crime outfit headed by Danny Karam and was the get away driver when they targeted Lakemba police station in the night-time attack.
Judge Morgan rejected Jamal’s please for mercy on the grounds that it has taken so long for the case to come to trial.
She said that he was the architect of his own downfall.
His earlier trail in 2004, was aborted after he said he was ill.
He then fled to Lebanon on a false passport where he was jailed in Beirut after being convicted of terrorism offences.
The terrorism convictions was overturned on appeal and he was extradited in 2006 and in 2007 jailed in NSW for up to nine years for kidnapping arrival during a shootout at Greenacre in 1998.
His brother Mohammed Omar Jamal was convicted last year over a terrorist plot targeting Sydney Lucas Heights’ nuclear reactor.
Judge Morgan sentenced Jamal to a total of 12 years with a minimum of six and a half.
She said although he was the getaway driver he was as culpable as the gun who fired the shots into the police station.