Man who allegedly killed daughter and son-in-law ditches lawyers hours before court hearing9th February 2021
However, on Tuesday, Mr Shaptafaj’s lawyer James Fitzgerald said his office had received an email at 1.48am – just hours before the 9am hearing – from a lawyer at another firm who said they now have the authority to act for the accused.
“It was received overnight and my instructor forwarded it to me this morning at 6.36am,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“I’ve asked that those lawyers be advised of today’s date but certainly it would not have happened in time to make any kind of appearance [today].”
Judicial registrar Timothy Freeman said that the case would have to be adjourned while the new representation for Mr Shaptafaj was arranged.
“Obviously the intention this morning was for Mr Shaptafaj to be arraigned following an indication on the last occasion,” he said. “Clearly that would be inappropriate at this juncture.”
He said that it may be that a “different course is pursued by the accused”. He will next face court on February 17.
Mr and Ms Musai met in their late teens and were together for about five years before they got married. They were planning on having children and were two weeks away from moving into their own home.
They were allegedly shot from behind at the front door of the Musai family’s Yarraville home on Salisbury Street, where the couple had been living.
The pair had just returned on New Year’s Eve from a short trip away celebrating their first wedding anniversary.
Ms Musai, 25, died on New Year’s Eve and Mr Musai, 29, died a day later in hospital.
Mr Shaptafaj, Ms Musai’s estranged father, was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds where he remained for some time under police guard.
He had not had contact with his daughter for many years.
He will next face court on February 17.
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Simone is a crime reporter for The Age. Most recently she covered breaking news for The Age, and before that for The Australian in Melbourne.