Jason De Ieso murder trial witness initially lied to police about firearm, court hears
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A Supreme Court murder trial into the shooting of Jason De Ieso in 2012 has heard that a key witness initially lied to police about a firearm believed to have been used in his alleged murder.
The witness — who cannot be identified for legal reasons — was interviewed by police after he was found with a revolver.
The prosecution has alleged the firearm was linked to the shooting of Mr De leso, who was gunned down in his Pooraka crash repair shop in what is alleged to be a case of mistaken identity amid escalating rivalry between the Hells Angels and Finks bikie gangs.
Eight men are accused of murder, including brothers Husain, Mohamed and Musa Alzuain, Daniel Mark Jalleh, Ross William Montgomery, Seywan Moradi, Kyle Lloyd Pryde and Nicholas Sianis. They have all pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
A key witness has been cross-examined for a second day by lawyers.
Defence lawyers have questioned why the witness lied to police during a meeting in March 2013 about the discovered firearm.
The court heard he told police he found the revolver at a train stop.
"When I first asked to see the police I buckled and told them a lie," he told the court.
Lawyers argued that the witness' recount was inconsistent, after he told the court that while getting burgers for lunch two days after the shooting, accused man Musa Alzuain gave him a revolver and said: "Make sure you have this on you in case they come past and do what we did to them."
A lawyer encouraged the witness to tell the truth after he initially lied to authorities.
"If the weapon wasn't used in the murder, that Musa gave me, I most likely wouldn't have told the police," the witness told lawyers in response.
"I couldn't believe a mate gave me a gun that was used in a murder," he alleged.
"I just wanted police to know I wasn't involved in the murder, I wanted them to know where I got the weapon from."
During Wednesday's cross-examination, lawyers also put forward that a "friend" spotted a revolver in the witness' car weeks before the shooting — a suggestion that the witness denied.
Yesterday, the court heard that South Australia's major crime Detective Superintendent Des Bray sent the witness a letter on July 8, 2019, that said he could be eligible for up to $500,000 for giving evidence.
The witness told the court he took time to respond to the letter, fearing the repercussions for his family and friends.
"A couple of days of thinking if I'm ready or not to do this, I thought the time is right," the witness told the court.
"I had to be here and tell the truth.
"I've lost a lot more than I stand to gain."
He told the court he did not keep a copy of the letter for safety reasons, in case "someone broke into my house".
The court was told the witness was given a letter of immunity in May this year in return for his testimony.
But the witness was told he could still be charged with perjury if he lied giving evidence to the court.
The court also heard the witness was eager to apply to join the police force, but his connections to the Hells Angel group deterred him.
The trial continues.
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