Man Denies DNA Link to Arson and CFMEU

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Tests indicated the presence of Jalal Alemaddine’s DNA and also that of his younger brother Emad.

But Mr Alemaddine, who is serving a 12-month jail sentence, denies seeing or wearing the glove.

He told the court he couldn’t remember what he was doing on the night of the fire and he didn’t know what the CFMEU was.

“I wasn’t burning down things. I’ve never lit up a fire,” he said under examination from counsel assisting the coroner, Ian Bourke SC.

Mr Alemaddine also challenged the assertion that his DNA had been found.

“It’s not 100 per cent that my DNA’s in that glove.”

Engineering tools company Iscar was twice attacked in a similar manner, events described as arson by Mr Bourke in his opening address.

The court heard Iscar had complained to the council about spray paint fumes wafting over from neighbouring business Southern Cross Rigging and Construction.

A stolen car filled with fuel and tyres was first driven into the foyer of Iscar’s building in February 2006, causing about $2.4 million worth of damage.

Iscar installed CCTV and bollards in front of the building but in March 2009 another stolen car was driven through the rear entrance, sparking a blaze estimated to have cost $2.6 million.

A five-unit property development in the upmarket Sydney suburb of Bellevue Hill was in late May 2009 attacked the same way not long after the owner cancelled a contract.

“Each fire involved some hostilities, conflicts, with the Southern Cross Rigging and Construction Company as well as similar modus operandi,” Detective Inspector Richard Puffett told the court.

The owners of the construction company, Mark and Khalil Merhi, were still thought to be overseas, the court heard.

Khalil Merhi left last month while his brother departed earlier in the year.

No one was injured in the fires but the coroner has the power to investigate incidents considered suspicious or unusual.


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