ALMOST two years after the murder of a young Sydney gay man in his own home, it appears police are still no closer to apprehending his killer.
Egyptian-born Ahmed Ghoniem was found dead inside his Elizabeth Bay flat, which had been set ablaze, on September 29, 2012.
Ghoniem (pictured above) worked as a waiter and was a regular at Sydney LGBTI venues and dance parties, including ARQ and Phoenix, and had marched in the annual Mardi Gras Parade.
Previously employed at auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dubai, Ghoniem is believed to have come from a wealthy and powerful family with links to the pre-Arab Spring regime of Hosni Mubarak.
He moved to Australia in May 2010 after falling in love with a Sydney-based businessman who he met on an online gay dating website as well as to live a more open life than was possible in either Egypt or the United Arab Emirates.
Ghoniem’s relationship with the Sydney businessman ended in 2011. There are suggestions his partner was hiding the true nature of their partnership from his religious family, fearful of their reaction of having a gay son.
However, it was understood he had been eliminated from police enquiries.
Having no links to gangs or drugs, the motive for the killing remains unclear.
In 2012, the Daily Telegraph reported that a former partner of Ghoniem – a man police believed could be crucial to the investigation – escaped to Lebanon just a few days after the murder. Lebanon and Australia do not have an extradition treaty in place.
When contacted by the Star Observer this week, police were tight-lipped about the investigation and were unwilling to share any new developments saying efforts to find Ghoniem’s killer remained ongoing.
“Detectives from the Homicide Squad are continuing to conduct inquiries into Mr Ghoniem’s death under Strike Force Lourde,” NSW Police said in a statement.
Police declined to answer questions about whether the man who travelled to Lebanon was a suspect or if family or associates of the Sydney businessman Ghoniem had a relationship with had been investigated.
“For investigative reasons, no further information can be provided,” it stated.
Police have encouraged anyone with information that may assist the investigation to contact Crime Stoppers via 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/