Biker leader arrested over airport murder

The leader of a biker gang involved in a deadly brawl at Australia’s busiest airport has been arrested, police said today.

Mahmoud Hawi, known as Mick, is being charged in connection with a fight in which a man linked to the Hell’s Angels was beaten to death in front of travellers at Sydney’s domestic airport.

Hawi will appear in court today.

Five other members of Hawi’s Commanchero gang have already been charged.

The clash left a Hell's Angels biker bleeding to death in front of terrified travellers at a domestic terminal.

The killing thrust long-simmering violence between biker gangs in Australia into the public spotlight, raised fears of widespread reprisal attacks and prompted a crackdown by authorities.

Hawi’s lawyer, John Korn, said the 28-year-old would ask to be released on bail.

In the March 22 brawl, Anthony Zervas, the brother of a Hell’s Angels leader in Sydney, was bludgeoned to death with metal poles after members of both gangs disembarked from the same flight from the southern city of Melbourne.

A week later, an unknown gunman opened fire on the brother, Peter Zervas, hitting him several times and badly wounding him as he sat in a car outside his apartment building.

No one has been charged in Anthony Zervas’ killing. The charges against the Commanchero members are for “affray” – fighting in public and causing bystanders to fear for their safety. They face a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Last week, the New South Wales state government rushed through tough new laws that allow officials to ban gangs and imprison those who defy such a ban for up to five years.

Police have also launched a new anti-gang unit to tackle biker violence.

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