Matthew Wiggins found not guilty of murdering exiled Comanchero Dark Janceski in 2012

Wiggins was alleged to have murdered Janceski to avenge the suspected killing of his friend Goran Nikolovski who disappeared from Unanderra on Halloween in 2011. Nikolovski’s burnt-out car was located by police on the Macquarie Pass highway. He is presumed dead, but his body has never been found.

Nikolovski was not a member of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang but knew the then national president Mark Buddle.

On November 4, 2011, police issued a press release asking for information regarding Nikolovski’s whereabouts. The next day, Janceski’s home was burnt down in what police believed to be a deliberate act to destroy evidence.

Janceski had been attacked in January 2012, suffering injuries to his leg and groin during shooting. Two men were charged over the incident, but were acquitted by a jury. They were in custody at the time of the fatal shooting in April 2012.

Neighbors told the trial there had been a fight outside their home involving “about half a dozen shots”, and Slobodan Janceski – known as Steve – had attacked the rider with a pole.

Wiggins’ latest trial had been delayed due to COVID-19. His first trial in 2017 was aborted for legal reasons, a second trial resulted in a hung jury, and the jury in the third trial returned guilty verdicts.

Wiggins was jailed in 2018 for 33 years with a non-parole period of 24½ years. He served more than two years of his sentence but was bailed after his conviction was quashed in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal in 2020 and a trial was ordered. The CCA there determined had unfairness in the manner in that jury was directed, unfavourable to the accused.

“Mr Wiggins has always maintained his innocence, and we are happy we were able to achieve justice for him after so many years,” solicitor Sarah Khan, who represented the accused with counsel David Dalton, SC, and Thomas Woods, told the Herald on Monday.

“It is now time for Mr Wiggins and his family to move on with their lives.”

With AAP

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