Wheel man evidence vital in Splashes case

Dragan Sekuljica
Dragan Sekuljica

The case against four men charged over the infamous Splashes nightclub shooting rests on the evidence of a man who was allegedly involved in the crime, Wollongong Local Court has been told.

The man, who cannot be named, was allegedly the "getaway driver" and also drove the shooter to retrieve the handgun used in the brazen public attack, the court was told yesterday.

The man, who has not been charged over the incident, is set to be a key witness in the case against the four men accused of murdering Dragan Sekuljica outside the former Cliff Road nightclub on September 8, 2007.

The latest revelations came yesterday as Zlatan Popovic, the first man charged with Mr Sekuljica's murder, made a second bid for bail.

Barrister Archie Hallas, acting for Popovic, told the court his client's circumstances had changed since last year's bail application as his mother was now prepared to provide a $1 million surety.

Mr Hallas said the woman had at least $1 million equity in her Tarrawanna home - currently for sale - and was willing to offer it to ensure her son's attendance at court.

Mr Hallas argued the case against his client was weak, claiming a six-page document outlining motives for Mr Sekuljica's murder, only briefly mentioned Popovic.

The document claimed Popovic had ingratiated himself with other "characters" to make money but provided no evidence as to his reason for the alleged murder.

Mr Hallas said the case "rose and fell" with the evidence of the alleged "getaway driver" and called for police to reveal whether he would be offered immunity from prosecution.

He argued there would be no case against Popovic or the co-accused if the man decided not to testify.

Mr Hallas also questioned evidence from telephone intercepts, revealing Mr Sekuljica's alleged murder had not been directly discussed or mentioned in any calls.

Opposing Popovic's bail, Crown solicitor Anali Cabrera said there were grave concerns for the safety of investigating detectives after Popovic allegedly threatened them.

Mr Hallas said his client had not been charged over the threats and they were no longer in play.

He told the court Popovic was not a flight risk, could live with his mother and would not contact the co-accused.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart refused Popovic bail.