Police to charge prison inmate over Ristevki murder

Saso Ristevski murder: police to charge prison inmate over Lake Heights killing


A man has been arrested in the Illawarra over the 2011 murder of Balkan crime figure Saso Ristevski.


Police have announced their plans to charge a current prison inmate with the murder of Saso Ristevski, who was shot at his parents’ Lake Heights home in September 2011.

The announcement came after Homicide Squad detectives on Friday charged a 37-year-old Warrawong man in relation to the death.

About 8.15am, highway police arrested Talatau Dal Amone in a motor vehicle on Cowper Street, Warrawong after “extensive inquiries”.

He was taken to Oak Flats Police Station and charged with three counts of accessory before the fact to armed robbery with wounding.

A Barrack Heights home was raided on Friday as part of the investigation into Saso Ristevski's murder.

A Barrack Heights home was raided on Friday as part of the investigation into Saso Ristevski's murder.

He was refused bail and appeared in Wollongong court on Friday afternoon.

Shortly after, two search warrants were executed at homes at Warrawong and Barrack Heights, where they located a number of items, which have been seized for further examination.

Police also reveal an arrest warrant was expected to be served on an inmate at a correctional facility for the offence of murder.

Lake Heights man Saso Ristevski.

Lake Heights man Saso Ristevski.

Detective chief inspector David Laidlaw addressed the media in relation to the arrest and pending murder charge on Friday afternoon.

“The allegation is along the lines of that he knows of Mr Ristevski in relation to their drug trade within the Illawarra area, and through those contacts he organised for three offenders to attend the residence of Mr Ristevski, where the offence was committed,” he said.

“It is our allegation that the purpose of the visit was to rob Mr Ristevski of money at the time, however, during the interaction of the three persons and Mr Ristevski, they’ve assaulted him a number of times across the head and also a fatal gun shot wound to the body area.”

He also said police would allege the Warrawong man had connections with Melbourne’s underworld.

Det Insp Laidlaw told reporters that Ristevski’s death was not a drug deal gone wrong, but was linked to “money we believe Mr Ristevski had at that stage”.

Ristevski, a university graduate, had previously been jailed for trafficking half a kilogram of cocaine.

He had been free for 12 months when he was shot.

Early investigations centred on people who shared his Balkan background.

However, police revealed last year that people from other backgrounds might have played a part in his death and said the killing may links to Melbourne’s underworld.

Background on the three Illawarra killings

The brazen killings of three men from Wollongong’s southern suburbs took place over six dramatic months between September 2011 and early April, 2012.

Convicted drug dealer Saso Ristevski, 37, was executed in front of his family after being confronted by a group of males at his parents’ home – in Barina Avenue, Lake Heights – about 8.30pm on September 28, 2011. 

Just over a month later, a car belonging to missing Unanderra man Goran Nikolovski – who had been named as an associate of Ristevski during a court appeal in 2007 – was found burnt out at Macquarie Pass on November 1.

Police believe Nikolovski was murdered but his body has never been found, despite extensive searches of bushland in the Illawarra escarpment.

Four days after the car was found, on November 5, the home of Berkeley man Darko Janceski was firebombed.

Then, on Janaury 29, Janceski was shot in the thigh in an attack unrelated to his subsequent shooting death.

The 32-year-old was gunned down in daylight outside his parents' home in Gannet Ave, Berkeley on April 12.

In 2013, when discussing the work of Strike Force Calligan police claimed Janceski’s shooting death was payback for the murder of Nikolovski. 

They alleged Nikolovski had links with the Comancheros, while Mr Janceski was a disenfranchised member. However they said the outlaw motorcycle gang had not been involved in the death of Janceski.

The police arrested Matthew Paul Wiggans, who is accused of murdering Janceski. Wiggans is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to the charge. 

Robert Nikolovski, who is the brother of Goran, has also been charged with being an accessory before the fact to murder.

The story Police to charge prison inmate over Ristevki murder first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.


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