Mark Caleo appears in court accused of hiring a hitman to stab his first wife to death in 1990

Mark Caleo appears in court accused of hiring a hitman to stab his first wife to death in 1990

  • Mark Caleo, 53, faces murder charges over the death of his wife in 1990
  • Rita Caleo was allegedly stabbed to death in her Sydney apartment 
  • Her death came only months after her brother Michael Chye was shot dead
  • Mr Caleo is alleged to have hired a hitman to carry out Rita Caleo’s murder 
  • Gerard Caleo, 43, the brother of Mark, is also charged with murder
  • Mark Caleo, 53, faces murder charges over the death of his wife in 1990

Two brothers charged with one of New South Wales’ highest profile cold cases have appeared in court for the first day of their committal hearing.

Used car salesman Mark Caleo was supported by his fourth wife on Friday as he faced charges over the murder of his first wife Rita Caleo, 39, and her younger brother, Dr Michael Chye, 36.

It is alleged that in 1990, Mr Caleo from Ramsgate, south of Sydney, hsecured the services of a hitman to stab his wife to death in the ensuite of her Double Bay unit.

Her death allegedly came in an effort to cover up her knowledge of the gangland style shooting murder of Dr Chye only just months earlier, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Five years later Mr Caleo was asked by a friend how he had lost much of his fortune & wealth.

‘I had to give it all to Janice because she knew too much,’ he is alleged to have said.

Two of his former wives – Yuko Okamoto, his second wife, and Maria Teresita Lee, his third wife – have given statements to police which were tendered before the court.

Ms Lee married Mr Caleo in 2003 and alleges that he told her his first wife had died of cancer.

After doing some Googleing she discovered both Rita Caleo and her brother had been murdered.

Mark Caleo (left) is charged with murder over the death of his first wife Rita Caleo in 1990. It is alleged Mr Caleo hired a hitman to kill her in her apartment in Double Bay, Sydney NSW Australia

Rita Caleo (pictured) was allegedly murder at the age of 39 by a hitman  hired by her then-husband to cover up the death of her brother, who he had also gunned down months earlier

Dr Chye’s death had allegedly come after a disagreement with Mr Caleo over a $3.6 million property in the south of Sydney’s.

The 53-year-old has charges of murder and soliciting the murders of both his wife and Dr Chye against him.

Mr Caleo’s younger brother Gerard Caleo, 43, is charged with murder, soliciting to murder and being an accessory to the murder of Rita Caleo’s.

Rita Caleo was reportedly so concerned about her safety that she handed her solicitor an envelope marked: ‘To be opened only if my death is ­unnatural.’

As he sat with his arm around current wife Majeda, the court heard how Mr Caleo had asupposedly been having an affair with a close friend of Rita Caleo’s at the time of her murder.

Dr Michael Chye (pictured) was allegedly murdered by Mr Caleo in 1989 over a dispute about a $3.6 million property in Sydney’s south

‘You told me your wife died of cancer and that’s not the case. She was killed at your house at Double Bay. Did you kill her?’ Ms Lee allegedly asked Mr Caleo.

‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ he is alleged to have replied.

Ms Lee then persisted in the issue with her new husband.

‘If you didn’t kill her, why did you tell me that she died of cancer and you didn’t tell me that she was murdered at your place?’ she claims to have asked the accused Mr Caleo.

He supposedly failed to respond

Both Mark and Gerard Caleo refute the charges they are facing.

Gerard Caleo, the younger brother of Mark, is also facing charges of murder and being an accessory to murder for his part in the deaths of Rita Caleo and her brother Dr Chye

Also denying any involvement is Alani Afu, who was extradited from Tonga a fortnight ago to face charges of being the Caleo brothers’ hitman.

It is alleged the 49-year-old was paid $10,000 to make Rita Caleo’s knife death look like a robbery ‘gone wrong’.

The hearing for both brothers – who are at present each out on $1 million bail – will continue.

Henry Sapiecha

Buy Products here