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Witnesses planned forgery to take Ron Medich’s money, murder trial hears

Ron Medich has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Michael McGurk. Photo: Peter Rae Lucky Gattellari is the key Crown witness against Ron Medich. Photo: Daniel Munoz
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Two key witnesses testifying against Ron Medich in his murder trial conspired to forge his signature and take money from his bank account, a court has heard.

Mr Medich, 68, is accused of ordering the fatal shooting of his former business partner, Michael McGurk when the pair were suing each other for millions of dollars. But defence counsel claim Mr Medich is being scapegoated by the real mastermind, Lucky Gattellari, another business partner who was attempting to conceal massive thefts with the contract killing.

On Monday, a NSW Supreme Court jury heard two telephone calls from six months after the murder between Gattellari and his then driver and debt collector Senad Kaminic, 49.

The pair were heard discussing a plan to find a copy of Mr Medich’s signature in his office. At one point, Gattellari said words to the effect “Ron’s in Queensland”.

Mr Medich’s barrister, Winston Terracini, SC, questioned Kaminic about a proposed forgery.

“You were asked by Lucky Gattellari to get a copy of Mr Medich’s chequebook, or one owned by a company of Mr Medich, and copy his signature,” Mr Terracini put to the witness, who agreed.

“You knew that was wrong,” Mr Terracini said. Kaminic accepted it was.

He also accepted Mr Terracini’s suggestion “you were led to believe that Gattellari was going to get monies out of Mr Medich’s account”.

Gattellari has told the court he received $500,000 from Mr Medich to pay for the murder and passed on the bulk to Kaminic, who found the men who carried out the shooting.

Defence counsel has suggested Gattellari, who was in business with Mr Medich at the time, arranged a series of unauthorised loans that amounted to thefts.

While Gattellari said he owed Mr Medich between $14 million and $16 million at the time of his 2010 arrest, he denied he “milked him for years” saying it was “impossible to steal 10 cents from Mr Medich without him knowing about it”.

Gattellari denies he was afraid Mr McGurk, 45, would expose any financial misdealings.

Both he and Kaminic have received significant cuts to their sentences for pleading guilty to their roles in the murder and for testifying against Mr Medich.

Kaminic said Mr Medich described Mr McGurk as a “hero” around September or October 2008 and recommended Gattellari join his business ventures.

But by the following year, the relationship had allegedly soured to the point where Mr Medich called Mr McGurk a “piece of shit” and a “motherf—er”.

Kaminic previously testified that as the murder plot progressed, Mr McGurk became known as “our friend”.But on Monday he agreed under questioning that around the same time Mr Medich would refer to a certain woman as “our friend”.

Kaminic said he knew whom Mr Medich was talking about based on his tone.

“When he was talking about [Mr McGurk] he would talk more through his mouth and he was angry,” Kaminic said. “When he was talking about her, he was happy.”

The trial continues. 

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