Bail for man accused of assisting killer

·2-min read

A man has been freed on bail despite police saying he likely knows where the body of missing Melbourne woman Maryam Hamka is.

Police opposed the release of Oscar Newman, who is charged with assisting Ms Hamka's alleged killer Toby Loughnane, in the belief he might move the Melbourne woman's body.

But Victorian Supreme Court Justice Richard Niall on Friday granted bail to Newman, on conditions including that he live with his mother who has offered a $50,000 surety.

Newman is not alleged to have had any involvement in the suspected murder of Ms Hamka, who was last seen in Brunswick on April 10, but is alleged to have assisted Loughnane afterwards.

Prosecutors say Loughnane murdered Ms Hamka in the early hours of April 11 after an argument. Neighbours reported hearing a disturbance around that time.

Newman, a pool cleaner, visited Loughnane's property multiple times in the period following, the court heard in his bail application earlier this week.

It's also alleged he bought a Karcher cleaner and that when it was picked up by a friend she told the seller "my friend's in a bad way".

Missing Person's Squad detective Jason Stewart said there were obvious concerns about Newman's release given Ms Hamka's body had not been found.

"We believe there's a high probability that Mr Newman knows where it is and he would have access to it if he chose," he said.

Newman's barrister Greg Melick accused police of exaggerating their evidence against Newman and that it was "fanciful" Newman would move the body if he knew where it was.

"If her body hasn't been found to date ... why would he take the risk of going anywhere near it, even if he knew where it was?" he questioned.

Newman must abide by a curfew, abstain from drugs and seek treatment for a gambling habit while on bail.

He's due back in court in December.

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