Salim Mehajer Denied Bail

Accused of staging crash

Salim Mehajer Denied Bail

Controversial Sydney businessman Salim Mehajer will remain behind bars after a magistrate denied him bail, saying she considered the prosecution case against him to be "quite damning".

The 31-year-old had applied for bail at Waverley Local Court on Tuesday after being accused of staging a car crash last year to avoid going to court for separate matter.

But magistrate Jennifer Giles on Wednesday refused his application, saying Mehajer's alleged crime struck "at the very heart of the criminal justice system: and he had not show cause as to why his detention was unjustified.

The former Auburn deputy mayor was on his way to face court in October last year over his alleged assault of a taxi driver when his Mercedes AMG collided with a Mitsubishi Outlander at an intersection in Lidcombe.

He was freed by firefighters and taken to hospital, while his passenger and the occupants of the other vehicle - two women aged 31 and 32 - were uninjured.

The other driver admitted fault after the crash, the court heard on Wednesday.

Ms Giles said family members of the other driver were allegedly heard later in telephone intercepts to be claiming $10,000, saying they had helped Mehajer.

A police strike force investigated the crash, and on Tuesday morning Mehajer was arrested at a home in Vaucluse, while his associate Ahmed Jaghbir was also arrested at a Lidcombe property.

Both Mehajer and Jaghbir have been charged with perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to cheat and defraud.

Jaghbir, 28, is defending an unrelated murder charge following the shooting death in March last year of Sydney underworld figure Kemel Barakat.

Jaghbur allegedly said he was instructed to arrange the October collision to buy Mehajer some more time before his scheduled court hearing that day, the court heard.

Prosecutors allege Jaghbir was a middle-man between Mehajer and family members of the other driver, and that he texted Mehajer his bank details after the crash, the magistrate said.

She said Mehajer's lawyer's alternative explanation - that he could be the victim of an extortion attempt involving the driver of the other vehicle - was "in no way any kind of reasonable hypothesis".

"Driving into someone and admitting fault is in no way any sort of grounds or leverage for extortion," Ms Giles said.

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