Former Canberra Comanchero commander found guilty of possessing illegal weapons


The former leader of Canberra’s Comanchero bikie gang has been found guilty of possessing illegal weapons, including a gun and some bladed knuckledusters, discovered after a fiery shoot out at his house in 2018.

Peter Zdravkovic, 38, lost a finger in the incident when three men fired into his house and set his cars alight before fleeing the scene.

Police believe the incident was sparked by a split in the Comancheros gang.

In dramatic CCTV footage shown to the court Zdravkovic can be seen exchanging fire, and running out of the house to see what is happening.

He was charged with possessing a gun, which police found in the ceiling of the house, and a pair of bladed knuckledusters found in a shed.

During the hearing Zdravkovic’s partner gave evidence, breaking down in tears when she had to talk about the shooting.

She told the court she had not seen any weapons in the house and that she had delivered an ultimatum to Zdravkovic about his links to bikie gangs, because of the danger.

Zdravkovic was found guilty of possessing a gun and bladed knuckledusters.(Supplied)

The court heard weeks before the attack she had arrived home from Sydney to find Zdravkovic with a head wound.

He told her he had been shot at.

But the woman told the court she did not suggest calling the police.

“Like, he’s got it under control.”

Prosecutor Patrick Dixon quizzed her about her own concerns.

“How did it make you feel?” he asked.

“I was very scared,” she said.

The court heard things got worse when threats began to appear on social media.

A meme-style message appearing to show Comanchero club colours on fire.
Snapchat images, tendered in court last year showed Mr Zdravkovic burning his Comanchero colours.(Supplied)

Self-defence argument rejected by judge

One of the issues in the case was the differing accounts of conversations between police and Zdravkovic in the lead up to the attack.

Another bikie associate had been caught with a gun and ammunition in a car as he cruised up and down Zdravkovic’s street.

Police told the court they went to see Zdravkovic because they were concerned.

Zdravkovic’s lawyer Jason Moffett quizzed police about what was said.

“He said to you he was concerned and petrified for the safety of his partner and son,” he said.

But police rejected that, saying Zdravkovic did not want their help.

Peter Zdravkovic outside the ACT Magistrates Court.
Zdravkovic allegedly told police the firefight had occurred because he had left the Comancheros.(ABC News)

Another police officer said when he went to the scene after the attack, Zdravkovic indicated he thought it had happened because he had left the Comancheros.

He admitted firing the gun but told police he got rid of it.

Mr Moffett had wanted to argue self-defence in the case but Justice David Mossop rejected the bid.

The prosecution told the jury the case came down to one issue, whether Zdravkovic possessed the weapons or not.

“They were not just existing in those spaces in a vacuum, he had them there.”

The jury deliberated for a short time on Thursday before returning its guilty verdict early on Friday.

Zdravkovic is expected to be sentenced next week.



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ACT police find knife allegedly used to stab Canberra Comanchero leader at Kokomo’s bar


ACT Policing detectives have found the knife they believe was used in the stabbing death of Canberra Comanchero commander Pitsoni Ulavalu last month.

Police said the knife was located about 300 metres from the last known location of the person they believe was responsible for the murder.

Mr Ulavalu died after he was stabbed in the neck during a brawl at Canberra nightspot Kokomo’s in the early hours of July 19.

Today ACT police’s criminal investigations boss Detective Superintendent Scott Moller announced officers had found the alleged murder weapon.

“We’ve discovered the weapon we believe was used to commit the murder,” he said.

“On Thursday, in the first few hours of a search that we were conducting, a knife was recovered from a storm water drain in Turner.

Detective Superintendent Moller said the knife was undergoing a forensic examination, as were “a multitude of other items” police located.

“To follow up the three arrests we made last week with the discovery of the knife is a positive endorsement of our investigative strategy for this case,” he said.

“This search was targeted. And the investigation is continuing.”

Pitasoni Ulavalu wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket.
Pitasoni Ulavalu was the Comanchero Canberra commander.(Supplied: Facebook)

Detective Superintendent Moller said hundreds of witnesses had been interviewed and CCTV scanned, in a joint investigation which has involved nearly 30 officers.

He said police were putting in a huge effort to bring those involved to justice.

“This is a horrific incident that happened in public view and as police we are not going to stand and let this happen in our community,” he said. 

“This investigation is still ongoing and I believe we will make further arrests and there will be further charges laid.

“We will continue to do everything we can to put the people before the courts.”

Police are seeking dash cam footage from anyone who was travelling through streets to the west of Northbourne Avenue, between Barry Drive and Wakefield Avenue, Turner, between 12:00am and 1:00am on Sunday July 19.

Anyone with footage can contact ACT Policing Operations on 131 444.

Five charged in relation to bikie boss’s death

Kokomo's bar
Pitasoni Ulavalu, 48, died after being stabbed in the neck at Kokomo’s bar.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

Last week 26-year-old Sydney man Frederick Tuifua faced the ACT Magistrates Court charged with Mr Ulavalu’s murder.

He has been remanded in custody in Canberra’s jail.

Four other people have also been charged with affray over their alleged role in the brawl inside the bar, including one man who is under police guard in the Canberra Hospital after suffering gunshot wounds.

Exactly how he got his injuries is now part of a separate investigation.

The final man charged with affray — a 26-year-old man whose name was supressed in the ACT Magistrates Court — was arrested on Wednesday after police searched his Red Hill home.



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Man charged with murdering Canberra Comanchero leader faces court as police conduct search for further evidence


A man accused of killing a Canberra bikie boss in front of hundreds of people at a popular nightspot last month has faced court charged with his murder.

Frederick Tuifua, 26, is accused of stabbing Canberra Comanchero commander Pitsoni Ulavalu in the neck during a brawl at Kokomo’s bar in the early hours of July 19.

The 48-year-old stumbled outside before he collapsed and died on the road. The brawl was captured on CCTV and recorded on mobile phones.

Mr Tuifua appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court via video link this morning facing a murder charge.

He did not apply for bail or enter a plea.

Osaiasi Kupu, 23, and Matthew Kupu, 22, also faced the Magistrates Court over their alleged role in the brawl inside the bar.

Both men have been charged with affray and neither applied for bail.

The trio were arrested on Tuesday night after they escorted a fourth man, who had multiple gunshot wounds, to the emergency department.

All three men are due to face court again later this month.

Police search underway in Braddon and Turner

Pitasoni Ulavalu wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket.
Pitasoni Ulavalu was the Comanchero Canberra commander.(Supplied: Facebook)

As the trio faced court, police and State Emergency Services workers were conducting a large-scale search in Haig Park.

In a statement, ACT Policing said searches in the suburbs of Braddon and Turner would continue “over the next few days”, in a bid to find additional evidence in relation to Mr Ulavalu’s murder.

“The investigation into the murder of Pitasoni Ulavalu remains ongoing and … detectives anticipate making further arrests,” an ACT Policing spokeswoman said.

ACT police’s criminal investigations boss Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said yesterday that the three men facing court had links to the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang.

“We’ve been looking at a group of men for some time and the opportunity at the hospital presented itself and he was arrested,” he said.

Chief Police Officer Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan said police were “also investigating” the incident that had led to the fourth man sustaining gunshot wounds.

“We don’t know much about the actual shooting,” Deputy Commissioner Gaughan said on Wednesday.

“He was brought in by three male persons … wanted for the affray at Kokomo’s a couple of weeks ago.”



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Man facing murder charge over Canberra Comanchero leader Pitasoni Ulavalu’s stabbing at Kokomo’s


A 26-year-old man will face the ACT Magistrates Court tomorrow charged with the murder of Canberra Comanchero leader Pitasoni Ulavalu at Kokomo’s bar.

ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan told ABC Radio Canberra that a man presented to Calvary Hospital last night with multiple gunshot wounds, accompanied by three other men.

Commissioner Gaughan said those three men were then taken into custody because they were wanted over the brawl at Kokomo’s in Canberra’s CBD.

Later this morning police confirmed that one of the three men would be charged with murder and the other two men, a 22-year-old and a 23-year-old, were expected to be charged with affray.

Canberra Comanchero commander Pitasoni Ulavalu, 48, died after being stabbed in the neck at the Civic nightspot in the early hours of July 19.

Police were called to Kokomo’s on the corner of Genge and Bunda streets at 12:05am after reports of a “disturbance”.

Officers confirmed at the time that the altercation began within Kokomo’s before Mr Ulavalu, 48, was found dead outside.

Mr Ulavalu had been stabbed in the neck.

Police flag further arrests and charges

Pitasoni Ulavalu wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket.
Pitasoni Ulavalu was the Comanchero Canberra commander.(Supplied: Facebook)

ACT Policing’s criminal investigations boss Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said the three men who had been arrested had links to the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang.

“Some are ACT residents, but some reside interstate,” Superintendent Moller said.

He said investigation into Mr Ulavalu’s murder was continuing.

“There are over 200 witnesses that we need to interview, hours of CCTV footage to be reviewed,” Superintendent Moller said.

“We’ve been looking at a group of men for some time and the opportunity at the hospital presented itself and he was arrested.

Superintendent Moller said there were about 35 outlaw motorcycle gang members currently known to police in the ACT.

“It was only about 12 months ago that I said we had up to 70, so we’ve been working really hard to reduce those numbers,” he said.

“If you’re involved in outlaw motorcycle groups you should be concerned, because people involved in outlaw motorcycle gangs are being shot, are being stabbed and end up in jail.

“But as a general member of our community, Canberra is a very safe city and I wouldn’t be concerned.”

On ABC Radio Canberra this morning Commissioner Gaughan said police were “also investigating” the incident overnight that led to a man sustaining gunshot wounds.

“We don’t know much about the actual shooting but we had a male present himself to Calvary Hospital late last night with some gunshot wounds,” Commissioner Gaughan said.

“He was brought in by three male persons … wanted for the affray at Kokomo’s a couple of weeks ago.”



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Bikie has conviction overturned for attempted murder of former Canberra Comanchero commander


A conviction for the attempted murder of former Canberra Comanchero commander Peter Zdravkovic in 2018 has been overturned by the ACT Court of Appeal.

Canberra bikie Axel Sidaros, 25, was serving 14 years in jail with a non-parole period of eight years on being found guilty of trying to kill Mr Zdravkovic.

The case has now been sent back to the ACT Supreme Court for a retrial.

The trial last year heard Mr Zdravkovic had fallen out with the club, and traded threats and insults with his rivals on social media before his home was attacked by a group of armed men.

The court viewed CCTV footage from the night of the attack that showed armed and hooded men entering Mr Zdravkovic’s backyard over a rear fence in June 2018.

Two intruders fired weapons into the house of Mr Zdravkovic, who returned fire with a rifle and lost part of a finger in the exchange.

Two other intruders poured petrol over cars and around the property, igniting the lot as they fled.

A man in a blue jumper walks with a lawyer in a suit.
Axel Sidaros was serving 14 years in jail after being found guilty of trying to kill former Canberra Comanchero commander Peter Zdravkovic.(ABC News)

At the time of the attack, Mr Sidaros was a nominee seeking entry to the Canberra Comancheros.

He was arrested at Melbourne Airport trying to board a flight to Abu Dhabi in September 2018 and charged with eight offences.

The offences included attempted murder, arson, and intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm.

He pleaded not guilty at trial last December, where the jury deliberated for two days before finding him guilty of seven offences, but acquitted him of an eighth.

Mr Sidaros appeared in court on Wednesday via video link, sighing and reclining in his chair as his appeal was granted and conviction quashed.

The reasons why the appeal was granted cannot be revealed because a retrial is pending.

The court heard he would apply for bail at a later date; and the matter was handed down for a directions hearing on Thursday.

A photo of a large man wearing Comanchero colours with the text: This photo doesn't show you motherf***ers holding my colours.
Snapchat images, tendered in court last year showed Mr Zdravkovic burning his Comanchero colours.(Supplied)



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