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HomeBusinessJudge orders former gangster to keep the peace for a year

Judge orders former gangster to keep the peace for a year


Bob Mackin

A Vancouver man who was both the perpetrator and victim of sensational gangland shootings in 1996 was ordered to keep the peace for a year after a 2020 physical argument with his girlfriend.

Mani Rezaei (Instagram)

Mani Rezaei was charged with assault with a weapon, assault, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and cause fear of injury/damage to person/property after a May 27, 2020 altercation at his residence in Southeast Vancouver. Charges were stayed on July 5 when Senior Judge Elisabeth Burgess in Vancouver Provincial Court opted under the Criminal Code to impose a section 810 recognizance order on Rezaei. 

The 1976-born Rezaei admitted, through his lawyer Joe Bellows, that he used inappropriate force and the complainant has reasonable grounds to fear for her wellbeing or personal safety. 

Burgess heard Rezaei and his girlfriend were involved in a shoving match. The woman fell to the ground and suffered a swollen lip and a mark on the base of her neck.

Burgess heard that Rezaei and the woman had a relationship for three-and-a-half-years that Bellows told the court was deteriorating on both sides before the incident.

Burgess ruled that Rezaei must keep the peace and be on good behaviour for 12 months, not contact the victim directly or indirectly and not possess any weapons. 

“As a result of what started out as a criminal charge, now is being proceeded with in another way that’s much more favourable to you,” Burgess said to Rezaei. 

The court heard Rezaei was convicted in early 1998 of attempted murder, for which he was sentenced to 14 years in jail, and hostage taking with a firearm, for which he received a five-year concurrent sentence. 

In June 1996, Rezaei shot friend Siamak Zahedi in a North Vancouver basement suite. Both were affiliated with the Persian Pride gang. Sentencing judge Wally Oppal noted Rezaei felt remorse and found religion after his arrest. 

In a separate case, Rezaei pleaded guilty to the October 1996 kidnapping of Randy Chan, brother of Lotus gang member Raymond Chan. A month after that incident, Rezaei was shot in Vancouver while sitting in a car. He survived a coma and paralysis. 

Apart from the 2020 incident, Bellows said that “there’s been nothing but positive things” since Rezaei’s release from jail. 

He listed working at a family restaurant with his mother, obtaining a computer systems technician certificate at the Academy of Learning, working at Sport Check and Winners, assisting his mother as a cleaner at a Montessori school and becoming a personal trainer in 2019. 

“He’s had no charges since completing his penitentiary term, so this is a bit of an anomaly,” Bellows told Burgess.

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