New details in ex-bikie’s girlfriend shooting death probe


POLICE know who dumped the gun following the mysterious shooting death of an alleged bikie associate's ex-girlfriend after witnesses were forced to spill in secret hearings.

Ivona Jovanovic was at the home of Christos Panagakos - who allegedly has ties to the Mongols bikie gang - in Highland Park when she was shot in the chest on September 8 last year.

Detectives say Panagakos and three others fled the house leaving her bleeding, while his mother phoned for help.

No one has been charged over Ms Jovanovic's death.

The Gold Coast Bulletin can reveal the state's crime and corruption watchdog turned up the heat on uncooperative witnesses, calling them into secret hearings to shed light on what happened that night.

The hearings were able to uncover relevant witnesses, evidence of the circumstances of the shooting and the identity of the person who disposed of the firearm, the CCC annual report has revealed.

But detectives are yet to find the gun involved, police have confirmed.

Ivona Jovanovic was shot dead in a Gold Coast home overnight.
Ivona Jovanovic was shot dead in a Gold Coast home overnight.

Coercive 'star chamber' hearings are used by police during difficult investigations into murders, drug trafficking and other serious crimes to compel witnesses to respond to questions, even if the answer is self-incriminating.

Ms Jovanovic's death is being reviewed by deputy state coroner Magistrate Jane Bentley, who is yet to make a decision on whether an inquest will be held.

Regional Crime Coordinator Detective Superintendent Brendan Smith has previously told the Bulletin police were still building a "full picture" of the death, and were hopeful of giving the family closure.

Supt Smith said police had spoken with all witnesses - some accounts detectives believed were "missing details".

Christos Panagakos and Ivona Jovanovic. Photo: Supplied
Christos Panagakos and Ivona Jovanovic. Photo: Supplied

He said police believed people were holding information back, possibly because of Panagakos' alleged bikie links.

Ivona's sister, Annette, has said the family would welcome an inquest.

In a recent Facebook post, she labelled the witnesses to the death as "gutless" for refusing to reveal what happened that night.

Ms Jovanovic died in hospital after the shooting.

Panagakos was arrested hours after running from the incident and questioned by detectives but was not charged over Ms Jovanovic's death.

He was arrested on a return to prison warrant.

In January, he was given more jail time for charges relating to a knife, a police hat and a taser that were found at the house by officers investigating the death.

Police have appealed for anyone with information about the shooting to phone Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Originally published as New details emerge in ex-bikie's girlfriend shooting death probe