Wed, Jun 20, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Manhunt for Melbourne killer starts

HONG KONG TACTICS URGED A biker is being sought for the murder of a lawyer who tried to help a woman in trouble, amid calls for a broader crackdown on biker gangs


An Australia-wide manhunt was underway yesterday for a Hells Angel accused of killing a Melbourne lawyer amid calls for authorities to use Hong Kong's tough anti-triad tactics against biker gangs.

There was shock and outrage nationwide at Monday's shooting of lawyer Brendan Keilar, who tried to rescue a woman being dragged by her hair down a busy central Melbourne street during the morning rush hour.

When Keilar and a 25-year-old Dutch backpacker tried to intervene, the assailant shot them and the woman he was attacking, killing the 43-year-old father of three and critically injuring the Dutchman and the 24-year-old woman.

A manhunt has been launched for Christopher Hudson, 29, whom police described as "extremely dangerous."

They said a car believed to belong to the gunman was found yesterday morning about four blocks from the crime scene.

Police said Hudson had an extensive criminal background. He was shot in the jaw and back in March last year during a brawl between members of the Hells Angels and Finks gangs in Queensland state.

Police said he was also wanted for questioning over a shooting at a Melbourne truck factory last week.

The Australian Crime Commission estimated last year that there were 35 "outlaw motorcycle gangs" in the country, with 3,500 members involved in a range of criminal activities, including drugs, prostitution and extortion.

Police last month vowed to crack down on biker gangs after a series of tit-for-tat arson attacks and shootings sparked by a turf war over drug distribution at nightclubs in major cities.

Police said their tactics included raiding clubhouses to ensure they complied with building standards, issuing defect notices on vehicles and generally scrutinizing bikers so closely "they will be sick of the sight of us."

South Australia state's director of public prosecutions Steven Pallaras, however, said a tougher national approach was needed, preferably using the tactics Hong Kong used to rein in triad gangs.

"Rather than try and catch them in the act of a criminal offense, what they focused on was to attack their status as members of a particular association," Pallaras told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"They defined particular associations as being unlawful and if you were found to be a member of that association you were, by that fact, committing an offense and could be criminally dealt with," he said.

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