Hawi widow in shock public stoush with ex-friend
The Mick Hawi murder trial has torn apart a once close friendship, resulting in a public clash in a shopping mall and a social media spat.
Tensions exploded recently when Hawi's grief-stricken widow, Carolina Gonzales, was photographed at a Bankstown shopping centre wide-eyed and pointing a finger in the face of a former friend during a heated confrontation.
That former friend is Ophelia Haragli. Recently, Ms Haragli has taken to calling out Ms Gonzales in lengthy abusive Facebook posts, including one where she calls her former friend "Satan".
It seems the cause of the split is that Ms Haragli provided unflattering evidence about Hawi to police, including that he was extorting her cousin for $500,000.
That Crown evidence was included in the case of two men who were last month found not guilty by a NSW Supreme Court jury of murdering Hawi, the ex-national president of the Comanchero bikie gang.
And as fate would have it, Ms Gonzales and Ms Haragli bumped into each other while shopping at Bankstown last Saturday. Ms Haragli uploaded photos of their ugly confrontation to Facebook later that day with a lengthy accompanying post.
The pictures and post have since been deleted.
Ms Haragli claimed in the post that Ms Gonzales confronted her and called her an "attention seeker".
The standoff then descended into Facebook Live videos at 10 paces in a pre-emptive attempt by each woman to broadcast evidence of a fight that never eventuated, the post said.
Ms Haragli then posted to Facebook a long list of claims against Ms Gonzales, many of which cannot be reprinted.
Ms Gonzales was contacted via a family representative for comment but was unable to be reached.
It is not the first time, Ms Haragli has written such a post about Ms Gonzales.
In a previous post, she made several judgmental comments about Ms Gonzales' personal and private life.
The pair were previously friends, according to Ms Haragli's statement to police.
But all that has changed after the investigation into who assassinated Hawi as he sat in a luxury 4WD outside a Rockdale gym in 2018.
Hawi may be gone, but his death is still causing reverberations in his community. From his wife who now carries on without him, to the divisions in friendship circles.
At the heart of the dispute appears to be the fact that Ms Haragli gave a statement to the police investigating Hawi's murder.
In her statement, Ms Haragli said she became friends with Ms Gonzales and Hawi in 2009.
The friendship was solid to the point where Ms Haragli told police she once helped when Ms Gonzales found a lump on her breast at a time when Hawi was in jail over his role in the deadly 2009 Sydney Airport brawl, the statement said.
But according to a Crown case statement from the case, Ms Haragli told police that Hawi had been extorting her cousin, builder Adeeb "Eddie" Haragli, and another man, for $500,000.
Mr Haragli was initially considered a person of interest by police investigating Hawi's murder in 2018 outside a Rockdale gym, but this theory was ruled out and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his part.
In August, the murder trial was told that Ms Gonzales went to Mr Haragli's home in the hours after Hawi was assassinated and threatened to kill the property developer.
Asked in court why she did that, Ms Gonzales told the jury: "I was angry."
She believed one of Mr Haragli's family orchestrated her husband's assassination, the court heard.
And from the photos posted to Facebook, it appears Ms Gonzales holds significant ill will towards Ms Haragli.
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Ms Haragli wrote in a Facebook post that she has been harassed by members of the community since it emerged she gave evidence.
She said she had been targeted on social media.
Ms Haragli wrote that the loud confrontation at the shopping centre played on her mind in the period after it occurred.
"A shopping trip in Bankstown leads to these embarrassing and angst provoking scenes and me turning my head inside out frantically trying to work out … which exit we might be ambushed at," Ms Haragli wrote.
And she called out Ms Gonzales to stay away from her.
"I'm proud to say I have a life and it's a damn worthy one and that if you just f..k off and leave me alone it's better for you," she wrote.
During the trial, Ms Gonzales strongly denied Hawi had attempted to extort half a million dollars from Mr Haragli.
The court heard that after her husband had died in a hail of bullets in February 2018 she had gone to Mr Haragli's house and threatened to kill him.
"I didn't mean it. I was angry, my husband had just died," Ms Gonzales told the court.
Last month, a jury in the NSW Supreme Court cleared two men of the murder after four days of deliberation.
Yusuf Nazlioglu and Jamal Eljaidi, who were accused of being the shooter and getaway driver respectively, were found not guilty.
Another man Ahmad Doudar, 40, pleaded guilty in July to being an accessory after the fact to murder by helping to dispose of an alleged getaway car.
He was sentenced to four and a half years jail.
Originally published as Hawi widow in shock public stoush with ex-friend