Police seek help with Potts Point murder
Police are appealing for information from the public as they continue their investigations into the killing of a young gay man discovered in his burnt Potts Point unit over the Labor Day long weekend.
The body of Ahmed Ghoniem, 27, was found inside his fourth-floor Greenknowe Avenue apartment after a fire broke out just before 1.40pm on Saturday, September 29.
He was treated by paramedics at the scene but died after arriving at St Vincent’s Hospital.
Homicide detectives from Strike Force Lourde quickly took over the investigation after an initial examination of his body revealed a number of serious injuries unrelated to the fire.
A post-mortem has been carried out on Ghoniem’s body though police will not reveal what injuries he suffered. Detective Sergeant Kel Graham from Kings Cross Police did however inform SX that rumours Ghoniem had been stabbed up to twenty times or was the victim of a hate crime were false.
“There have been things reported in the media that are just not right,” he said.
“There’s no indication at all that it is gay-hate related. We want people to calm down a little bit and come forward and talk to us and let us do our jobs.”
Police told SX Ghoniem had moved from Egypt to Sydney about three or four years ago to live a freer life as an openly gay man.
“I understand he comes from a bookkeeping background,” Graham said.
“Since he’s been here he’s done a few things. He’s worked in a bar and talking to family he was quite keen to progress his training as a cook or a chef.”
It is believed Ghoniem (pictured) was somewhat well known in and around the bars and clubs of Oxford Street, with at least one former Arq nightclub security guard confirming to SX the slightly built permanent resident was a regular face every few weeks as far back as 2009.
“Ahmed was a polite, quiet guy who always paid the cover charge and never caused a problem while lining up,” the former bouncer told SX.
“He never brought about suspicion that he was involved in drug dealing or any other illegal activities.”
Media reports late last week suggest Ghoniem had moved recently to the Potts Point unit from a Woolloomooloo home he shared with his European partner after their relationship ended.
Police did admit that their early enquiries were being slowed by a lack of information from members of the local community who may have known or spent some time with Ghoniem.
“We want to talk to people who know him, specifically about what his movements were on the Saturday,” Graham said.
“And if anyone in the community who lives in that area saw anything suspicious please come forward or call Crime Stoppers. Any information we get will be kept in confidence.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Kings Cross Police Station or the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.