Third man on bail in Muslim lashing case
July 22, 2011 6:29PM
A THIRD man accused of whipping a Muslim man for drinking alcohol has been granted bail despite police claiming he threatened the victim and may have organised the alleged attack.
Zakaryah Raad, 20, faced Burwood Local Court on Friday over the incident at a unit in Silverwater in Sydney's west in the early hours of July 17.
Christian Martinez, 31, was allegedly restrained by four men who broke into his flat and lashed him 40 times with an electric cable as punishment under Islamic law, or sharia, for drinking alcohol.
The court heard Raad, from Guildford, was arrested on Thursday in the backyard of the Melton Street apartment block where Mr Martinez lived.
He was charged with breaking and entering, resisting arrest and detaining a person.
He was also charged with two counts of stealing and two counts of intending to influence a witness.
In granting bail, Magistrate Tim Keddy said he accepted Raad was at the apartment block to visit his boss, who also lived there, and not to "threaten, influence or intimidate" Mr Martinez.
Police prosecutor George Lolis told the court it would be alleged Raad had also attended Mr Martinez's unit block in the hours before the alleged attack on July 17.
Raad was "in a position to see the beer bottles strewn throughout the premises", Mr Lolis said.
Police would allege Raad played a key role in the "organisation and coordination of the males" involved in the incident and that he contacted Mr Martinez by text message and phone in the days following, Mr
Mr Lolis said police allege this was "an attempt ... to have Martinez withdraw his complaint".
Raad's lawyer George Ikners told the court his client made the calls because he was concerned Mr Martinez had mistaken him as one of the alleged attackers.
Mr Ikners said Raad had visited Mr Martinez prior to the alleged attack and that Mr Martinez was "somewhat out of control" from the effects of drugs and alcohol.
"He may have thought Mr Raad was still there (when the attack occurred) when in fact he may not have been," Mr Ikners told the court.
Mr Keddy imposed a nightly curfew on Raad and ordered he lodge $10,000 for bail.
He was also told stay away from the Melton Street apartment complex and Mr Martinez.
Two other men charged over the incident were also granted conditional bail at Burwood Local Court earlier this week.
Tolga Cifci, 20, was bailed on Tuesday, while 43-year-old Wassim Fayad left custody on Thursday afternoon after posting bail.
But Fayad returned to the Burwood court on Friday to have his bail conditions changed after his parents refused to let him stay at their residence.
"He was informed by his parents they were not happy with him staying there," the court heard.
Fayad's lawyer requested that he be allowed to stay instead at a close friend's house in nearby Lidcombe.
Mr Keddy approved the change of address but upheld the other bail conditions, including that he not approach Mr Martinez.
The matters for all three men will return to the same court on September 14.
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