Man charged with wife's murder allegedly cut ties with family three weeks ago

Krystal Johnson and Mel Buttigieg

A family member of a Melbourne woman allegedly murdered by her husband said the accused cut ties from his wife's family three weeks ago - around the time her body was found.

Bassam Raad, 34, has been charged with murdering his wife Zeinab Taleb, 26, and intentionally causing serious injury to his three children aged two, four and six in Broadmeadows.

Bassam Raad allegedly murdered his wife and assaulted his three young children. Source: Supplied
The body of Zeinab Taleb was found dumped in a car park last month.

Raad was arrested Monday night, after police and paramedics were called to a Cohuna St house, following the reported assault of three primary school aged children.

Homicide detectives questioned over the death of a formerly unidentified woman found in Dallas on June 17, now found to be Raad’s wife Zaynab.

The 26-year-old woman's battered body was dumped in a car park about two kilometres from the family's home, found wrapped in a quilt by a passing jogger.

Detectives carry shovels to the home following the alleged assault of three children. Photo: AAP

The accused appeared at a committal hearing at Melbourne Magistrates court on Thursday behind security glass and handcuffed, with two security officers by his side.

"Everyone is shocked, I couldn't believe it," the victim's brother-in-law Tahir Allough told 7 News leaving court.

"[Raad] cut ties with everyone and [his wife's] body comes up three weeks after. Three weeks after we find out that's her."

He added that Raad's alleged actions did not reflect Islam's peaceful beliefs.

"That's not what Islam is about. Islam is about peace, so is every religion."

On Tuesday, homicide detectives arrived at the Melbourne property with shovels.

Police reportedly discovered of the children in an unconscious state, another child was reportedly found suffering broken bones.

All three were taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.

One child was reportedly knocked unconscious and another suffered broken bones. Photo: 7 News
Image of the woman found in Dallas, and a scarf found at the scene. Source: Victoria Police


During an out-of-sessions court hearing on Wednesday night, Raad, dressed in a blue police-issued jumpsuit and black thongs, told the bail justice he feared for his safety while in custody and claimed to be a "loving father".

"I am a loving father. My heart is breaking. I want to see my kids," an unrepresented Raad told the bail justice.

Surrounded by nine homicide detectives, Raad complained that police refused to give him his thyroid medication, a shower or clean clothes to wear during his two days in custody.

It is believed Basssam Raad wanted to take his kids to Syria. Source: Supplied


Without the medication, he was prone to fainting and almost did so while being interviewed at Broadmeadows Police Station, he said.

Sources close to the police investigation told the Herald Sun the woman's body was badly mutilated and her finger tips cut off, making identification extremely difficult.

A friend also told the paper the children had been asking about the whereabouts of their mother who arrived in Australia seven years ago.

The mother has not been seen for several months.

"We haven't heard from her," a family friend told the newspaper.

"He does not want us to see her. He wanted to take them to Syria. The last time we saw her was five months ago."



The woman who was found at Dallas in June. Photo: 7 News.

Raad had previously been arrested for assaulting a Channel 7 cameraman in 2008.

He was acquitted in a high-profile terror trial in 2008 when he was among 12 men accused of planning terror attacks in Melbourne.

Raad is due to face court again in November where he will appear by video link.

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