Bloody turf war: Why gang boss stabbed his rival in jail
When two feared gang leaders inside the state's highest security prison were given approval to meet face-to-face, jail authorities thought it was to be a peaceful encounter.
But police allege one of the men was packing a shiv, which he planned to use to make a violent statement.
Prison authorities believed the meeting on May 20 in the Goulburn Supermax prison between Farhad Qaumi, who is serving 60 years after leading a murderous underworld war that included a contract killing, and the other prisoner, an alleged murderer who cannot be named, would be innocuous because they had a relationship which didn't ring any bells.
Following a rigorous screening process, their interactions were at the point where they qualified for being let out of their solitary cells and given the privilege of spending time together in approved sections of Supermax.
It had been less than a month since their last meeting, which occurred without issue.
On the day of the attack, a shackled Brothers For Life gang boss Qaumi was led into the TV and utilities room just after 9am, with the other man not far behind him and also handcuffed.
When both men were secured into the room, Qaumi had his cuffs taken off.
Qaumi, 37, was captured on CCTV with his back to the room door and presenting his hands through a small hole so the staff on the outside could remove his handcuffs.
Once his hands were free, police will allege Qaumi removed a shiv - a makeshift weapon often fashioned from something as innocent as a spoon or a toothbrush - from his pocket, and repeatedly stabbed the other man in the face and neck.
The other man, 31, raised his hands towards his face to shield himself from the alleged stabbing attack.
This was a bloody attack in a turf war. Here, alpha status is everything in the prison pecking order. Police will allege Qaumi had accused the other of turning supergrass - mistakenly believing he'd become a rollover witness - and sought to enforce prison style justice.
Both men are gang leaders. And in the prison world, men at this level do not take a backward step to anyone, especially in Supermax, sources said.
Both men command large followings inside and outside the prison - and both the underworld and those inside the jail system would be watching how their relationship developed with both of them inside.
Prison authorities had every reason to think the meeting between the two hardmen would be a peaceful one because the men were understood to have been somewhere between allies and acquaintances prior to the incident.
They had been held in neighbouring cells inside the prison's High-Risk Management Unit, according to law enforcement sources.
Qaumi was charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence.
On Saturday, Qaumi's leading criminal lawyer Simon Joyner said: "I am waiting to be served with CCTV material from the police at which time I will speak with Mr Qaumi about how we will proceed with the case."
Qaumi allegedly made other attempts to injure his former associate by striking at his head and neck. Seeing the attack, several prison staff assembled outside ready to storm the cell.
Only minutes after the alleged attack began, Qaumi suddenly stopped.
With the punishment handed out and his point clearly made, it will be alleged Qaumi placed the weapon on a table, got on his knees and placed his hands in the air.
Officers then rushed into the cell, where they restrained and searched Qaumi before moving him to a different section of Supermax.
The victim of the attack, who is still before the courts on murder charges, was treated for his injuries, which included lacerations to his face and neck.
Despite medical staff recommending he receive further treatment for gruesome wounds, the victim refused anything beyond basic wound dressing. Both men refused to talk to police about the attack and what motivated it.
Qaumi, a former Afghan refugee, formed the BFL gang almost a decade ago while behind bars under the guidance of notorious crime lord Bassam Hamzy who, had earlier been involved in a violent brawl with a convicted terrorist in an exercise yard of the high-security wing.
Once released from jail Qaumi's gang went on a murderous spree, which included going to war with a rival BFL chapter and arranging the contract killing of construction figure Joe Antoun, shot five times after opening the front door to his home.
Qaumi is due to appear in Goulburn Local Court on August 12.
Originally published as Bloody turf war: Why gang boss stabbed his rival in jail