Victoria Police ran a defence lawyer as an informant, while she was representing clients charged by police
600 crims have now been notified that their convictions could be tainted.
Big name crooks too.
Unbelievable - if it had happened anywhere other than Victoria.
Here's today's High Court judgement ordering that suppression orders be lifted. Gets to the meaty bits about half a dozen pages in.
Chip le Grand from The Australian has done a very good job in reporting on what all of this means.
It's not hard to work out who's up who, how far and who's been paying.
Gangland informant lawyer scandal: Notorious cases could be tainted
Australia’s highest court has savaged a decision by Victoria Police to use a defence lawyer as a registered informant, describing it as “reprehensible conduct’’ which corrupted potentially dozens of high profile convictions of central players in Melbourne’s gangland war.
In an excoriating judgment, the High Court found the lawyer committed “fundamental and appalling’’ breaches of her professional obligations to her clients and the court and Victoria Police command was sanctioned “atrocious’’ breaches by police their sworn duty to act faithfully according to the law.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has today written to some of Australia’s most notorious criminals, including gangland drug baron Tony Mokbel, informing them that their convictions and lengthy prison sentences are based on evidence provided by their defence lawyer when the lawyer was a police informant.
The extraordinary revelation, which follows a protracted and highly secretive legal saga played out within the Victorian Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court of Australia, has plunged Victoria Police into crisis, with the legitimacy of potentially hundreds of criminal convictions now in doubt.
“The prosecution of each convicted person was corrupted in a manner which debased fundamental premises of the criminal justice system,’’ the High Court found. It is understood that at least one high profile drug trafficker has already initiated legal proceedings challenging his conviction.
Victoria Police has spent two years attempting to stop Mokbel and six members of his drug cartel from being told about the unethical, secret double life of the lawyer, the extent of which was exposed by a special Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission investigation conducted by retired judge Murray Kellam.
MORE AT THE AUSTRALIAN