Man Arrested at Airport Over Killing of Prominent Lawyer in Cafe

By Janita Kan

A 38-year-old man was arrested on Feb. 13 at Sydney International Airport for his involvement in the fatal shooting of a lawyer at a Sydney cafe last month.

The unnamed man was boarding a plane bound for Bali with a “one-way ticket” when he was arrested by police from Strike Force Eugene this morning, reported 9News.

He was taken to a police station and questioned over the death of Vietnamese lawyer Ho Le Dinh, who was shot several times in broad daylight at about 3:40 p.m. on Jan. 23 at the Happy Cup Cafe in what was described as a “targeted attack.”

Witnesses reportedly heard three gunshots during the attack, reported ABC.

The 65-year-old lawyer subsequently died on the side of the busy road in Sydney’s south-west. Police established Strike Force Eugene in order to investigate the deadly shooting.

Police described the alleged shooter as Pacific Islander in appearance, with an olive complexion and of medium build, reported ABC.

Andy Nguyen, who said he had been friends with Ho for 30 years, was at the scene when the 65-year-old was shot.

“After three shots, [Ho] was standing up,” he told 9News. “He walked one step, two step, and he lost his balance and fell on the floor.”

Ho, who is a prominent criminal lawyer and a father-of-five, came to Australia in the 1980s after fleeing the Vietnam war, reported the Australian national news broadcaster. His death has sent reverberations across the Vietnamese community in Sydney.

Friends who knew the slain lawyer said Ho had a strong sense of social justice. He was described as a person who was not afraid to speak out and stand up for what he believed in, reported ABC.

“Some people liked him, some people didn’t,” fellow lawyer, Ai Trong Than, told the ABC last month.

Police said they have also executed a search warrant on a home in Sydney’s south-west. The man was later charged with murder and refused bail, reported Fairfax.

 

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