Homicide detectives have arrested the man they suspect of murdering Sydney criminal lawyer Ho Ledinh at a café in Bankstown last month.
Arrested trying to flee
The suspect was arrested at Sydney International Airport as he attempted to leave the country on a flight to Bali.
Police say they moved in when the man’s passport triggered an alert – called an ‘airport stop’ – as he moved through customs.
Police believe the man is responsible shooting the lawyer at close range as he sat dranking a cup of coffee. They say the suspected shooter had no prior relationship with Mr Ho Ledinh, whether a client or otherwise, raising suspicion it was a targeted hit.
After making the arrest, detectives searched a home in Hammondville in south-west Sydney, where they seized several items believed to be relevant in their investigations.
Mr Ho Ledinh was shot in the abdomen and upper chest three and a half weeks ago. He lost consciousness on the side of the road and paramedics were unable to revive him.
CCTV footage shows the suspected gunman walking through the Bankstown Plaza in a high-visibility vest, and taking a sip of water moments before the shooting.
Appeal for assistance
Witnesses described hearing at least three gunshots, and seeing a man run into a nearby laneway, after which he disappeared. In an attempt to locate the man, police launched an appeal for information from the public, particularly footage of the incident.
They also searched through bins in the shopping centre, hoping to locate the bottle the man was drinking from.
Client files may provide more answers
Police searched through client files belonging to Mr Ho Ledinh, hoping to identify persons who may have a motive to kill the lawyer.
However, it is unclear at this stage as to whether that search helped locate the arrested man.
Mr Ledinh was one of the lawyer who represented Philip Nguyen, the man imprisoned over the killing of Sydney police constable Bill Crews in 2010 .
Police say they were not aware of any threats to Mr Ledinh prior to the shooting, although there are reports the lawyer was deeply in debt.
Mr Ledinh’s friends and family are hoping justice can be served. The lawyer was a father and a strong voice for social justice.
Police have issued a statement saying there investigations are continuing.
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