Lawyer course

‘Fat’ Gang Leader Tony Mokbel Continues to Fight for Freedom Amid Lawyer X Scandal

Lying bloody and helpless after a stabbing in a prison in 2019, Tony Mokbel must have thought he might actually die behind bars.

But the once-feared kingpin of Melbourne’s underworld had been taken down before, and he’d never been one to go to bed without a fight.

A few days before Christmas, Mokbel again proved he was ready for the long game in his battle to get out of jail following the lawyer X scandal.

Tony Mokbel (right) hopes to be released from prison. He was represented by lawyer X, Nicola Gobbo (left)

Melbourne gangland identity Faruk Orman has been released after his murder conviction was overturned due to the lawyer X scandal

Melbourne gangland identity Faruk Orman has been released after his murder conviction was overturned due to the lawyer X scandal

Tony Mokbel after being stabbed in prison in 2019. He survived the attack and now continues to fight for freedom

Tony Mokbel after being stabbed in prison in 2019. He survived the attack and now continues to fight for freedom

The 56-year-old is serving a 30-year prison sentence for drug-related convictions which he says were tainted by notorious police informant Nicola Gobbo.

At a guidelines hearing on December 21, Victoria Supreme Court Justice David Beach ruled that Mokbel’s next major hearing, on February 2, would be held behind closed doors.

It’s an interesting development given that the Attorney X scandal had of course raged for years behind closed courtroom doors before exploding into public view.

By now, those half-hearted about the scandal know the ins and outs of it.

On Monday, the court heard that police had yet again delayed delivering documents requested by Mokbel’s high-priced legal team, prompting his lawyer Ruth Shann SC to accuse the chief commissioner of undermining authority of the court.

Criminal lawyer Nicola Gobbo was exposed as superstar police informant Lawyer X in March 2019.

Tony Mokbel after his arrest in Greece in 2007

Tony Mokbel after his arrest in Greece in 2007

She had acted for many Melbourne crooks, including Mokbel and the now deceased mobster Carl Williams.

Williams was bludgeoned to death in jail before he even had a chance to see his former lawyer embroiled in the filthy scandal.

Mokbel was lucky and survived after Teira Bennett and Eldea Teuira, both 22, punched and stabbed him with makeshift knives around eight times at Barwon Prison on February 11, 2019.

Appearing in court in December, Mokbel looked healthier than he had ever appeared walking in and out of courtrooms any time before.

Sources have told Daily Mail Australia that Mokbel continues to freely engage with outside minions.

In 2014, the former ‘racing identity’ was placed in solitary confinement after she was caught making huge bets via coded messages inside Barwon Jail.

Gobbo had claimed that it was Mokbel’s behavior in the 1990s that prompted her to report her clients to the police.

He, like many others, is among the who’s who of Melbourne criminals who are now clogging Victoria’s justice system for a chance at freedom.

Just over a year ago, Mokbel had a 12-year sentence overturned due to Gobbo’s interference.

Faruk Orman is already back on the street after having his murder conviction overturned due to information from Gobbo.

Nicola Gobbo worked as an informant for the Victoria Police.  His involvement in snitching on his own clients has now allowed a convicted killer to walk free

Nicola Gobbo worked as an informant for the Victoria Police. His involvement in snitching on his own clients has now allowed a convicted killer to walk free

Calabrian mob boss Pasquale 'Pat' Barbaro has appealed his conviction because of Nicola Gobbo

Rob Karam

Calabrian mob boss Pasquale “Pat” Barbaro has appealed his conviction because of Nicola Gobbo. Rob Karam (right) has been serving his 37-year prison sentence for eight years for several drug-related offences, including his role in the Calabrian mafia’s attempt to smuggle 15 million ecstasy pills

Last month, Mokbel’s appeal against a 2006 drug trafficking conviction that saw him stuck behind bars took a leap towards resolution.

It was the initial pursuit that saw him flee Australia while out on bail, sparking an international manhunt that ended in Greece a year later in 2007.

When the case returns to court in February, only court staff and lawyers who have signed confidentiality undertakings of lawyer X’s crucial documents will be allowed to appear.

Police prosecutor Sashi Maharaj previously argued there was “no legitimate forensic purpose” for Mokbel and his legal team to view the sensitive documents.

Judge Beach assured him it would be a “career-ending decision” if someone showed up at the next hearing without signing the confidentiality undertaking.

Ms Shann, who worked alongside Cardinal George Pell during his initial trial over child sex allegations, said she, if not Mokbel himself, should be aware of the information.

As the legal game of cat and mouse continues, police say they may attempt to cast doubt on Mokbel’s actual legal relationship with Gobbo.

This is a suggestion that will certainly be strongly rebuffed by Mokbel.

Tony Mokbel arrives at court in Melbourne in 2000

Tony Mokbel arrives at court in Melbourne in 2000

Nicola Gobbo could still face criminal charges for his notorious stint as 'Lawyer X'

Nicola Gobbo could still face criminal charges for his notorious stint as ‘Lawyer X’

Zlate Cvetanovski (centre) poses for a photo with his lawyers outside the Supreme Court of Appeal in Melbourne in October last year after his release

Zlate Cvetanovski (centre) poses for a photo with his lawyers outside the Supreme Court of Appeal in Melbourne in October last year after his release

Prosecutors have previously disputed that Gobbo worked as a lawyer for Mokbel in 2007 and 2008, when police contact reports at the time said she sent him bills for legal work as he fought extradition. .

After the Supreme Court overturned Mokbel’s earlier drug conviction, Judge Chris Maxwell said the Mokbel case and other appeals in the wake of the Attorney X scandal were of critical importance, describing the behavior of Gobbo as “shameful”.

Gobbo had been Mokbel’s junior lawyer during this trial while reporting his clients to the police.

Upon his return to Australia, Mokbel pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and was sentenced in 2012 to at least 22 years in prison.

Mokbel had continued to seek advice from Gobbo while on the run, increasing the claim that his extradition was also unlawful.

The mobster claims he only fled in 2006 – mid-trial – because Gobbo warned him that the police were seeking to charge him with murder.

Police later charged him with the murders of Lewis Moran and Michael Marshall at the height of Melbourne’s underworld war.

Killer Carl Williams roamed the streets as a free man in 2003. He would be killed years later in prison unaware that he was perfectly right in his thoughts of Nicola Gobbo.

Killer Carl Williams roamed the streets as a free man in 2003. He would be killed years later in prison unaware that he was perfectly right in his thoughts of Nicola Gobbo.

A letter Carl Williams wrote from prison fearing his lawyer, Nicola Gobbo, was a rat

A letter Carl Williams wrote from prison fearing his lawyer, Nicola Gobbo, was a rat

Nicola Gobbo and the killer Carl Williams.  Williams died in prison, but not before calling his former lawyer a rat

Nicola Gobbo and the killer Carl Williams. Williams died in prison, but not before calling his former lawyer a rat

Charges were later dropped in the Marshall case and he was cleared by a jury for Moran’s murder.

The Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants, which delivered its findings in November, found that more than 1,000 crooks could be freed or given new trials as a result of Gobbo’s illegal tips to Victoria police.

Commissioner Margaret McMurdo AO concluded that the convictions or convictions of 1,011 people may have been affected by Victoria Police’s use of Ms Gobbo as a human source.

“She spoke to police about Mr. Mokbel’s properties, finances, contact numbers, associates and vehicles and codenames,” Commissioner McMurdo said.

“She disclosed the defense strategies and tactics used by Mr. Mokbel’s legal team, both in his criminal trial and in his extradition proceedings.”

Mokbel’s offer of freedom will be heard by three judges of the Court of Appeal between April and June.