Man who allegedly killed daughter and son-in-law ditches lawyers hours before court hearing

Man who allegedly killed daughter and son-in-law ditches lawyers hours before court hearing

February 9, 2021

A man accused of fatally shooting his daughter and son-in-law on their doorstep has changed lawyers just hours before a court hearing where he was expected to plead guilty to murder.

Osman Shaptafaj was charged with two counts of murder after he allegedly shot and killed Lindita and Veton Musai as they were entering the family home in Yarraville in Melbourne’s inner-west on New Year’s Eve in 2019.

Veton and Lindita several years ago. The pair had been together for five years when they were killed. Credit:Facebook/Veton Musai

He pleaded not guilty by way of mental impairment in May last year to the crime, and the case was moved to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

At the end of January, his lawyers told the court they had instructions that Mr Shaptafaj would instead enter pleas of guilty to the charges.

However, on Tuesday, Mr Shaptafaj’s lawyer James Fitzgerald said his office had received an email at 1.48am – just hours before the 9am hearing – from a lawyer at another firm who said they now have the authority to act for the accused.

“It was received overnight and my instructor forwarded it to me this morning at 6.36am,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“I’ve asked that those lawyers be advised of today’s date but certainly it would not have happened in time to make any kind of appearance [today].”

Judicial registrar Timothy Freeman said that the case would have to be adjourned while the new representation for Mr Shaptafaj was arranged.

“Obviously the intention this morning was for Mr Shaptafaj to be arraigned following an indication on the last occasion,” he said. “Clearly that would be inappropriate at this juncture.”

He said that it may be that a “different course is pursued by the accused”. He will next face court on February 17.

Lindita and Veton Musai. Credit:Facebook

Mr and Ms Musai met in their late teens and were together for about five years before they got married. They were planning on having children and were two weeks away from moving into their own home.

They were allegedly shot from behind at the front door of the Musai family’s Yarraville home on Salisbury Street, where the couple had been living.

The pair had just returned on New Year’s Eve from a short trip away celebrating their first wedding anniversary.

Ms Musai, 25, died on New Year’s Eve and Mr Musai, 29, died a day later in hospital.

Mr Shaptafaj, Ms Musai’s estranged father, was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds where he remained for some time under police guard.

He had not had contact with his daughter for many years.

He will next face court on February 17.

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