Here we go again , let the crooks ride the system for all it is worth, mostly on legal aid (taxpayers money). Drug dealers and murderers seem to be the only folks who can get access the bottomless resources of legal aid these days .Day to day folks have no chance because they are not facing jail time, does that make their legal woes any less important while scum like Mokbel milk the system dry? These crims see going to court appeal after appeal as a social outing, a time to see family and friends most of the time. They laugh at the system.
Anthony Dowsley, Carly Crawford, Padraic Murphy and Alex White
February 11, 2015
The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission’s damning report was prompted by a Herald Sun investigation of the force’s controversial use of informers to get information on gangland crimes, drug lords and corrupt police.
IBAC’s inquiry, led by former Supreme Court judge Murray Kellam, found the force failed in its handling of endangered informers and may have subverted Victoria’s justice system.
The Herald Sun can today reveal one witness central to the IBAC inquiry has said senior police once threatened to take away a child unless the child’s parent joined the secretive witness protection program.
IBAC found police had failed to follow their own guidelines and policies and made 16 secret recommendations for how to handle “human sources’’.
Police passed the report to prosecutors, as Premier Daniel Andrews vowed to oversee reforms “to learn where things have gone wrong”.
Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said he would take responsibility, despite not being in command at the time of the controversial decisions.
The report is secret, but there were calls for it to be made public as IBAC revealed the force’s handling of cases may have adversely affected the administration of justice.
The ramifications of the informer scandal could intensify the demand for a judicial inquiry into the police handling of a series of notorious cases.
The Herald Sun understands several major criminals, including jailed kingpin Tony Mokbel, convicted killer Faruk Orman and a jailed drug figure, are considering their legal options because of the possible contamination of their cases.
Mokbel, who is serving at least 22 years for drug trafficking, has legal advice that the informer crisis could found a successful appeal against his conviction and sentence.
A Mokbel friend said: “We’ve been approached by some lawyers who say … he might knock off a few years, because they have conspired against him.”
Police had previously told the Office of Public Prosecutions more than a dozen cases may have been tainted by their handling of informers.
Mr Cartwright said: “Victoria Police acknowledges there were shortfalls in our management of human sources during that time (2005-09). We didn’t follow best practice and it’s important that lessons were learnt and they have been.”
But he said that the force and prosecutors had found no evidence of a contaminated trial at state level.
“In terms of the state in the last couple of years, there is no evidence at this stage of any threat to any conviction or any evidence of mistrial,” he said.
Any miscarriage of justice would be acted upon, he said.
Opposition police spokesman Ed O’Donohue said: “Daniel Andrews should urgently release a safe, redacted version of this report otherwise his lack of transparency could unfairly erode public confidence in our police force.”
Mr Andrews would not rule out releasing a redacted report.
“It’s my expectation that Victoria Police get on and implement each and every one of the recommendations that IBAC have made … given the history of this matter, I do hope to have more to say soon.
“But at the same time we do need to be very careful.”
He would not be drawn on why a key source was not interviewed by IBAC.