Home / World News / Bassam Hamzy’s brother Ghassan Amoun fails in appeal against jail term for breaching court orders

Bassam Hamzy’s brother Ghassan Amoun fails in appeal against jail term for breaching court orders

The younger brother of gangland figure Bassam Hamzy has spent 117 days in prison for using a friend’s mobile to conduct an affair and forgetting to tell police he had changed the number plates on his sports car, his lawyer claims.

But a court has been told Ghassan Amoun is not involved in the bloody underworld feud that has shaken Sydney and claimed the lives of his elder brother Mejid and cousin Bilal Hamze, among others.

Amoun, 35, will see out a 12-month jail term after he pleaded guilty to breaching a serious crime prevention order designed to monitor the movements of members of the Hamzy clan.

He unsuccessfully appealed against the sentence on Friday in the District Court, where a judge said the term was “entirely appropriate” for deliberate breaches of rules in place to protect the community.

Ghassan Amoun pleaded guilty to breaching a control order in February. NSW Police
Camera IconGhassan Amoun pleaded guilty to breaching a control order in February. NSW Police Credit: Supplied
The 35-year-old (right) was jailed for a minimum of six months.
Camera IconThe 35-year-old (right) was jailed for a minimum of six months. Credit: Supplied

Police charged Amoun in February after he was found with three undeclared mobile phones and a laptop inside an Audi A4 with fresh Queensland number plates.

His barrister Ertunc Ozen SC said the sentence carrying a six-month non-parole period was excessive, telling the court that despite extensive analysis of the phones and laptop police found no evidence of criminal activity.

Mr Ozen said Amoun had not offended since 2008 when he was involved in a drug operation run by brother Bassam, the founder of notorious gang Brothers 4 Life who is now locked up at Goulburn Supermax prison.

Undated copy pic of prisoner Bassam Hamzy who has been jailed for 21 years for murder. Hamzy has been moved from Goulburn Jail to Lithgow Jail where he is in isolation because a number of dangerous prisoners in Goulburn Jail had converted to Islam. Picture: Supplied
Camera IconAmoun’s brother Bassam Hamzy. Credit: Supplied
Mohammed HAMZE . One of three men being sought by Strike Force Skelton officers, investigating a drug empire allegedly run from Lithgow jail by Bassam Hamzy.
Camera IconTheir cousin Bilal Hamze was shot dead in June. Credit: Supplied

He said his client had since “moved away” from the criminal network and had been planning to relocate his family to the Sunshine State when he was arrested this year.

The laptop had been left in the car by Amoun’s partner, Mr Ozen said, and possessed nothing that could be linked to criminality.

Of the phones discovered, one belonged to a friend, the second he intended to give to his niece and the third was used for “carrying on an affair behind (his partner’s) back”, the court was told.

That third phone had the messaging app WhatsApp installed on it in contravention of a condition Amoun was bound by not to use encrypted services.

Mr Ozen said, although morally questionable, the messages found on the phone were “not related to any criminal activity of the Hamzy family or any criminal behaviour whatsoever”.

Elder brother Mejid Hamzy was allegedly murdered outside his Condell Park home in October 2020.
Camera IconElder brother Mejid Hamzy was allegedly murdered outside his Condell Park home in October 2020. Credit: Supplied

Amoun had notified police of the Audi but forgot to inform them, as he was obliged to do, he had changed over the number plates as part of his plans to leave Sydney and “move away from all this”, the court was told.

Amoun was one of the few people authorised to speak with Bassam Hamzy in prison, the court was told, and in their countless calls monitored by corrections officers they had never uttered anything nefarious.

“There was nothing that the police could point to … that related to drug use, drug supply, criminal networks or acts of violence,” Mr Ozen said.

He argued that on sentencing his client in September a Local Court magistrate failed to backdate the jail term to take into account the time Amoun had already spent on remand for the breach offences.

Amoun was behind bars serving the sentence and had been held in solitary confinement purely because he is a Hamzy, Mr Ozen said.

“A lesser sentence in this matter is warranted … one that does not involve this man spending any further time in custody,” he said.

Amoun was placed under the order in December 2020.
Camera IconAmoun was placed under the order in December 2020. Credit: Supplied

The Supreme Court was previously told that, according to police intelligence, Amoun had been identified as a potential target of the rival Alameddine network.

He has never been accused of or charged with offences related to the so-called gangland war.

Crown prosecutor Adrian Walkowiak said Amoun’s breaches were serious “because they demonstrate an intention to minimise the chance of police monitoring the appellant”.

In delivering judgment, Judge Michael King said Justice Peter Garling in December found Amoun posed a “significant risk of being involved in serious crime-related activity”.

Mr King said despite Ms Ozen’s arguments that no criminal material was found on the phones, the order was in place to prevent future offending.

There was no evidence before the court to support Amoun’s claims about who owned the phones or their intended purposes, the judge said.

He also said it was “not surprising” Amoun had the good sense to not be involved in crime since 2008, as he was jailed until 2016 over his role in an interstate drug ring brother Bassam ran from his prison cell.

Amoun was in 2012 convicted of two counts of supplying a prohibited drug and was sentenced to non-parole periods of three years and five months, and four years and four months respectively.

Mr King said Bassam Hamzy was a high-level criminal whose “talents” included being able to run criminal networks from prison and “instructing others to act on his behalf”.

“In my view the appellant had clearly and deliberate breached the orders made … for the protection of the community,” he said.

“And I regard these matters as being serious incidents of offending.”

Mr King did, however, backdate Amoun’s sentence to July 2021, meaning he will be eligible for parole in January 2022.

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