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Vic Man Guilty Over Gangland Murder Plot

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A man has been found guilty of conspiracy to murder Melbourne gangland figure Mario Condello.

The jury in the Victorian Supreme Court trial for Sean Jason Sonnet was told that police uncovered a plot to kill Condello - a former lawyer and "money man" for the Carlton crew - by accident after they bugged the car of a suspected drug trafficker.

Police arrested Sonnet, 37, and another man near the Brighton cemetery in Melbourne's south on June 9, 2004.

Crown prosecutor Geoff Horgan, SC, had told the jury Sonnet was found by police carrying two loaded handguns as he and the other man waited for Condello, who failed to walk by as expected.

Melbourne underworld rival Carl Williams engaged Sonnet to murder Condello in revenge for the killing of his friend Andrew Veniamin, Mr Horgan told the jury.

The jury of nine men and three women delivered a guilty verdict on Wednesday afternoon, following about one day of deliberations and a trial that lasted just over a month.

Condello was shot dead in the driveway of his Brighton home two years after Sonnet was arrested over the murder plot and no one has been charged over his death.

Sonnet, who pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder Condello, declined to attend court for the verdict and his barrister John Desmond told the court he had informed him he would not participate in the pre-sentence hearing.

Mr Desmond previously told the jury his client never intended to kill Condello and only pretended to go along with the plan because he was in fear for his life.

On Wednesday, he told the court his client would lodge an appeal.

Williams has pleaded guilty over the murder plot and is serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 35 years over this and three underworld killings.

Justice Betty King adjourned the case for a pre-sentence hearing at a date to be fixed.

Taken From:http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=289493

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