Tony Mokbel has cocaine importation conviction quashed by Victoria's Court of Appeal over Lawyer X scandal
Victoria's Court of Appeal has quashed Tony Mokbel's conviction for cocaine importation as a result of the Lawyer X scandal.Key points:
- The decision came after prosecutors admitted Nicola Gobbo had been a registered police informer while representing him
- Commonwealth prosecutors said they would not pursue a retrial
- Mokbel remains in jail on other drug offences
Gangland barrister Nicola Gobbo represented Mokbel while also providing information to police.
The court today quashed his conviction for importing a commercial quantity of cocaine in 2000, though he remains in prison for other drug offences.
Mokbel famously fled to Greece while standing trial as the financier behind the importation operation.
He was convicted in his absence in March 2006 and sentenced to 12 years behind bars.
The sentence began after the fugitive was captured disguised with a wig in a Greek coffee shop and extradited back to Australia.
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Chris Maxwell, said the court would decide at a later date whether it would order Mokbel to face a fresh trial over the allegations.
But Commonwealth prosecutors have revealed even if the court orders a retrial on the charges, they will not go ahead with the trial.
Prosecutor Rowena Orr QC said Mokbel had already served his sentence on the charges and they would discontinue the matter.
The decision to overturn the conviction came after Commonwealth prosecutors conceded Ms Gobbo had been a registered informer while representing him.
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She was registered by Victoria Police for her third stint as an informer in September 2005.
Ms Gobbo continued to represent Mokbel in the case until March 2006 when he disappeared first to Bonnie Doon and then overseas on a yacht.
Justice Maxwell on Tuesday described the conduct of Ms Gobbo and those who facilitated her informing as "disgraceful".
"These are matters of profound importance," he said.
Mokbel is also appealing his other drug convictions, which were also prosecuted by Victorian authorities.