Secret court files exposing details of Melbourne’s Lawyer X police informer scandal have been released.
Thousands of pages of documents have been published by the Victorian Supreme Court and High Court relating to police use of criminal barrister turned informer Nicola Gobbo.
They include transcripts of secret phone recordings of Ms Gobbo, whose identity was exposed in March after a suppression order protecting her identity was lifted.
I hope you’re not recording this. Or I’ll shoot you,” she told a police operative in a 2005 conversation about drug lord Tony Mokbel.
She told the operative there wouldn’t be a day that goes by that Mokbel wasn’t calling her from prison, while at the same time suggesting police bribe him.
He thinks all police officers are a joke … and he continually tries to make you think he’s got police in his back pocket.
In another secret conversation in 2007, Ms Gobbo told an operative she couldn’t represent Mokbel because I’m a witness against him.
One of the many ironies of all this is I have so many conflicts with the bloke, but what does he know she said.
He doesn’t know about any of them. They’ll all stay hidden.
During a decades-long career as a criminal barrister Ms Gobbo was registered three times by police as an informer between 1995 and 2009, and continued passing on information until late 2010.
At the same time, she was representing some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Mokbel and underworld killer Carl Williams.
Prosecutors wrote late last year to a number of Ms Gobbo’s former clients, and several have launched appeals in the Court of Appeal against convictions they argue are tainted by Ms Gobbo’s informing.
Mokbel is understood to be among them.
Further newly released documents reveal Mokbel’s lawyers contacted then Director of Public Prosecutions, now Supreme Court Justice, John Champion, about whether an anti-corruption inquiry into the Lawyer X scandal may impact the prosecution of his previous criminal proceedings.
After almost a year of attempts to access the inquiry’s report into Lawyer X, Ms Gobbo, Mokbel’s lawyers made a Freedom of Information application in 2016.
Mokbel is not alone in seeking information on Ms Gobbo’s role in his conviction.
Zlate Cvetanovski, who is appealing three convictions he says were tainted by Ms Gobbo’s informing, has also been seeking information for four years.
He said findings in the report were made secret and as a result, he couldn’t confirm whether his convictions for drug trafficking had miscarried, but believed from media reports the convictions were unsafe.
The lengths police went to orchestrate convictions and ensure my demise, in what can only be described as shady, dishonest and corrupt undertakings are mind-blowing he wrote to Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commissioner Murray Kellam in May 2015.
Appeal court president Chris Maxwell on Wednesday said the appeals were proving an extremely long and complicated process.