Particular investigator to look at Lawyer X | The Stawell Occasions-Information

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Special investigator to examine Lawyer X | The Stawell Times-News

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A special investigator will investigate whether there is enough evidence to indict gangland informants Nicola Gobbo and Victoria police officers over the Lawyer X saga. The appointment was made under 110 by Commissioner Margaret McMurdo in her final report on the long-running scandal that was filed in Parliament on Monday. She said the fact that the police could obtain convictions with the help of Ms. Gobbo could be considered positive. “This view, while understandable, overlooks the far-reaching and adverse consequences of the conduct of Ms. Gobbo and the Victoria Police,” she said. Attorney General Jill Hennessy says all recommendations will be accepted and work will begin immediately to appoint a special investigator to investigate criminal charges or disciplinary charges on officers still in office. Ms. McMurdo said Ms. Gobbo had been encouraged to behave by the police and now lives in fear of being murdered, while many or all of the officials associated with the failed system have had exemplary careers. “If the DPP determines that prosecution is in the public interest, the defendants will get a fair trial, unlike those whose trials have been corrupted by their behavior,” she said. Ms. Hennessy said work on establishing the special investigator would begin immediately, and steps would also be taken to ensure appeals are heard quickly and efficiently. “What we have seen and learned over the past two years during this royal commission is truly appalling,” she said. Admitting that it could be a lengthy process, she noted that a similar investigation was still being prosecuted in Queensland almost 12 years later. The commission identified 1,011 people whose cases may have been affected by the behavior of Ms. Gobbo or the police. The final report also revealed that the police used up to two dozen other legal informants and owed 31 other types of confidentiality obligations, including nurses and government employees. Twelve informant files between 1990 and 2016 involving legal practitioners were reviewed. Victoria Police refused to hand over another 11, calling them “extremely sensitive”. An independent auditor will be appointed to review these. The report highlights several case studies, including some Ms. Gobbo, who have been identified as her greatest moments herself. The case of Drug King Tony Mokbel revealed the sheer amount of information Ms. Gobbo passed on, including details of the characteristics, staff, code names and defense tactics used in his trials. She noted the far-reaching implications of Ms. Gobbo’s information on the tomato cans, which resulted in 32 convictions. “Remarkably, Ms. Gobbo acted on at least 10 of these people after providing information to the police that may have led to charges against them,” she said. More than half, including ringleaders Rob Karam and Pasquale Barbaro, have appealed. Ms. McMurdo admitted that Faruk Orman and Zlate Cvetanovski’s convictions had been overturned based on Ms. Gobbo’s information. Ms. McMurdo noted that Ms. Gobbo’s conduct was extensive, persistent and inexcusable, undermining the administration of justice, jeopardizing convictions and damaging the reputation of the Victoria Police Department. She has recommended that Ms. Gobbo’s name be removed from the Victorian Bar’s list of retired attorneys within three months, as the bar roll has a symbolic meaning. Ms. McMurdo accepted the Victoria Police’s claim that the high profile murder of Jason Moran and his bodyguard – another Pasquale Barbaro – was an important context prior to Ms. Gobbo’s registration in 2005. But she found that the behavior of several unnamed current and former officers tended to discredit the force. More than 100 people within the Victoria Police knew Ms. Gobbo was an informant, but did nothing. Failure to comply with the guidelines was not reviewed, indicating a “willingness to tolerate the bending of the rules to solve serious crimes”. She highlighted the ubiquitous and negative cultural emphasis from top to bottom to get results without giving enough consideration to the consequences. Other recommendations include independent external oversight of the Victoria Police Department for human resources, a clear legal framework for the registration and use of human resources, and adequate funding for the IBAC, the corruption watchdog. Australian Associated Press

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November 30, 2020 – 3:24 pm

A special investigator will investigate whether there is enough evidence to indict gangland informants Nicola Gobbo and Victoria police officers over the Lawyer X saga.

The appointment was made under 110 by Commissioner Margaret McMurdo in her final report on the long-running scandal that was filed in Parliament on Monday.

She said the fact that the police could obtain convictions with the help of Ms. Gobbo could be considered positive.

“This view, while understandable, overlooks the far-reaching and adverse consequences of the conduct of Ms. Gobbo and the Victoria Police,” she said.

Attorney General Jill Hennessy says all recommendations will be accepted and work will begin immediately to appoint a special investigator to investigate criminal charges or disciplinary charges on officers still in office.

Ms. McMurdo said Ms. Gobbo had been encouraged to behave by the police and now lives in fear of being murdered, while many or all of the officials associated with the failed system have had exemplary careers.

“If the DPP determines that prosecution is in the public interest, the defendants will get a fair trial, unlike those whose trials have been corrupted by their behavior,” she said.

Ms. Hennessy said work on establishing the special investigator would begin immediately, and steps would also be taken to ensure appeals are heard quickly and efficiently.

“What we have seen and learned over the past two years during this royal commission is truly appalling,” she said.

Admitting that it could be a lengthy process, she noted that a similar investigation was still being prosecuted in Queensland almost 12 years later.

The commission identified 1,011 people whose cases may have been affected by the behavior of Ms. Gobbo or the police.

The final report also revealed that the police used up to two dozen other legal informants and owed 31 other types of confidentiality obligations, including nurses and government employees.

Twelve informant files between 1990 and 2016 involving legal practitioners were reviewed. Victoria Police refused to hand over another 11, calling them “extremely sensitive”. An independent auditor will be appointed to review these.

The report highlights several case studies, including some Ms. Gobbo, who have been identified as her greatest moments herself.

The case of Drug King Tony Mokbel revealed the sheer amount of information Ms. Gobbo passed on, including details of the characteristics, staff, code names and defense tactics used in his trials.

She noted the far-reaching implications of Ms. Gobbo’s information on the tomato cans, which resulted in 32 convictions.

“Remarkably, Ms. Gobbo acted on at least 10 of these people after providing the police with information that may have led to charges against them,” she said.

More than half, including ringleaders Rob Karam and Pasquale Barbaro, have appealed.

Ms. McMurdo acknowledged that Faruk Orman and Zlate Cvetanovski’s convictions were overturned based on information from Ms. Gobbo.

Ms. McMurdo noted that Ms. Gobbo’s conduct was extensive, persistent and inexcusable, undermining the administration of justice, jeopardizing convictions and damaging the reputation of the Victoria Police Department.

She has recommended that Ms. Gobbo’s name be removed from the Victorian Bar’s list of retired attorneys within three months because the bar roll has a symbolic meaning.

Ms. McMurdo accepted the Victoria Police’s claim that the high profile murder of Jason Moran and his bodyguard – another Pasquale Barbaro – was an important context prior to Ms. Gobbo’s registration in 2005.

But she found that the behavior of several unnamed current and former officers tended to discredit the force.

More than 100 people within the Victoria Police knew Ms. Gobbo was an informant, but did nothing.

Failure to comply with the guidelines was not checked, indicating a “willingness to tolerate the bending of the rules to solve serious crimes”.

She highlighted the ubiquitous and negative cultural emphasis from top to bottom to get results without giving enough consideration to the consequences.

Other recommendations include independent external oversight of the Victoria Police Department for human resources, a clear legal framework for the registration and use of human resources, and adequate funding for the IBAC, the corruption watchdog.

Australian Associated Press