RCMPI

Chapter 6

Chronology of key events

Introduction

This chapter outlines the key periods of interaction between Ms Nicola Gobbo and Victoria Police and associated events from 1993 to 2018. It details Ms Gobbo’s history of providing information to Victoria Police and her three registrations as a human source, based on evidence provided to the Commission during its inquiry.

These events are explored in more detail in Volume II of this final report, which examines the conduct of Ms Gobbo and Victoria Police officers. The narrative presented in this chapter does not seek to interrogate the evidence of witnesses or the material received by the Commission. That is reserved for later chapters.

The first part of this chapter addresses Ms Gobbo’s interactions with Victoria Police between 1993 and 1999. Following a search of Ms Gobbo’s property in 1993, she was charged with drug offences and provided information to police about her then de facto partner, leading to her first registration as a human source in 1995. After being admitted to practise as a lawyer in 1997, Ms Gobbo gave Victoria Police information about her employer at the time, leading to her second registration as a human source in 1999.

The second part of this chapter outlines Ms Gobbo’s involvement with Victoria Police between 2000 and 2005. During this time, she continued to provide information to Victoria Police informally. This period also covers the escalation of Melbourne’s ‘gangland wars’ and Ms Gobbo’s representation of Mr McGrath (a pseudonym), who provided evidence against several criminal identities. In 2003–04, Ms Gobbo had a series of conversations with officers of Victoria Police’s Purana Taskforce, which was investigating several murders associated with the gangland wars. These conversations laid the groundwork for Ms Gobbo’s most prolific period of informing, between 2005 and 2009.

The third part of this chapter outlines events that occurred between 2005 and 2009, when Ms Gobbo wasregistered as a human source for the third time and, through almost daily contact with Victoria Police’s Source Development Unit (SDU), provided information about many individuals involved in organised crime, including her clients. Ms Gobbo’s role as a human source ended when Victoria Police tried to transition her to the role of a witness in two high-profile investigations.

The final part of this chapter provides an overview of the period from 2010 to 2018, starting with Ms Gobbo’s decision to commence civil litigation against Victoria Police. After she was withdrawn as a witness, a series of confidential external reviews were undertaken into Ms Gobbo’s use as a human source. This resulted in Victoria Police pursuing court proceedings to suppress her identity and, in 2018, to the establishment of the Commission.

1993 to 2000: Initial involvement with Victoria Police and use as a human source

An overview of Ms Gobbo’s initial involvement with Victoria Police is outlined in Figure 6.1 and discussed below.

Figure 6.1: Timeline of Ms Gobbo’s initial involvement with Victoria Police, 1993 to 2000
1993

September: Ms Gobbo’s first known contact with Victoria Police. Ms Gobbo is living in a house in Carlton, Melbourne, with her de facto partner Mr Brian Wilson. Her house is raided by police and she informs them of drugs located at the property.

November: Ms Gobbo pleads guilty to the possession and use of amphetamine and cannabis.

1994

September 1994–July 1995: Then Sergeant Trevor Ashton meets with Ms Gobbo to discuss Mr Wilson’s activities.

1995

3 April: Ms Gobbo’s house is raided again, and Mr Wilson is arrested.

July: Ms Gobbo is registered as a human source for the first time by Victoria Police’s District Support Group ‘A’, to provide information about Mr Wilson.

1997

7 April: Ms Gobbo is admitted to practise as a lawyer in Victoria.

December 1997–May 1999: Ms Gobbo provides information to Victoria Police about her employer, Solicitor 1 (a pseudonym). She also provides information to the Australian Federal Police and the National Crime Authority about her employer.

1999

26 May: Ms Gobbo is registered as a human source for the second time to provide information about Solicitor 1.

May–July: Ms Gobbo speaks to police about Solicitor 1.

2000

3 January: Ms Gobbo’s status as a human source is reclassified to ‘inactive’ as Victoria Police has not had contact with her for several months.]

Ms Gobbo’s first contact with Victoria Police (Operation Yak)

Ms Gobbo’s first relevant contact with Victoria Police was in September 1993. At the time, she was a law student at the University of Melbourne.

Ms Gobbo lived with her de facto partner, Mr Brian Wilson, in a house in Rathdowne Street, Carlton.1 They had bought the property in July 1993 as tenants in common.2 At the time, Mr Wilson worked as a hotel bouncer.3 Ms Gobbo later said that she became acquainted with Mr Wilson about three months before they bought the property.4

On 19 August 1993, Victoria Police received a Crime Stoppers tip-off alleging that Mr Wilson was trafficking drugs, and launched an investigation known as ‘Operation Yak’.5

On 3 September 1993, Victoria Police executed a search warrant on the property. Among the officers present at the raid were then Sergeant Trevor Ashton, Sergeant Michael Holding and Constable Peter Trichias.6 Ms Gobbo was not present when police initially entered and began searching the house at about 5.25 pm. She arrived around two hours later.7 During a search of Ms Gobbo’s bedroom, officers found a small amount of cannabis and amphetamine in a cigarette packet in a chest of drawers.8

During the search, Ms Gobbo informed Mr Ashton that drugs were hidden behind a vent in the laundry.9 A search of the vent revealed two bags of amphetamine.10 A total of three pounds of amphetamine and three-quarters of a pound of cannabis were seized.11

Ms Gobbo was charged with use and possession of cannabis and amphetamine.12 Mr Wilson was charged with trafficking, use and possession of a drug of dependence. Ms Gobbo admitted that she knew that drugs were being kept at the premises, but denied being involved in the trafficking operation.13 Mr Holding recalled that the evidence against her in relation to the trafficking operation was not strong.14 He also recalled his impression of Ms Gobbo as ‘very confident and opinionated. I felt that she thought the process was like a game’.15

In late September 1993, Ms Gobbo spoke with Mr Holding about providing a statement against Mr Wilson, though she did not ultimately make any statement to police.16

On 29 November 1993, Ms Gobbo pleaded guilty to the possession and use of amphetamine and cannabis and received a 12-month good behaviour bond without the recording of a conviction. Mr Wilson received a sentence of eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months.

Later police intelligence revealed that Ms Gobbo was considered a ‘significant’ supplier of drugs at the University of Melbourne.17

Ms Gobbo’s initial registration as a human source

Throughout 1994 and 1995, Mr Trevor Ashton remained in contact with Ms Gobbo. He led a team in District Support Group ‘A’ (DSG-A) and was the primary point of contact between Victoria Police and Ms Gobbo. The core functions of the DSG-A included detection and investigation of drug-related offending, as well as other crimes. Mr Ashton met Ms Gobbo several times at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where she had a part-time job with a catering company.18 A member of his team, then Constable Timothy (Tim) Argall, also attended at least one of those meetings.19

Then Senior Constable Rodney (Rod) Arthur also recalled meeting with Mr Ashton and Ms Gobbo in early 1995 on about three occasions on the street near the old Magistrates’ Court.20 Mr Arthur did not recall Ms Gobbo providing any information valuable to an investigation during these meetings.21 In his statement, Mr Arthur said that he recalled Mr Ashton telling him prior to the meeting that Ms Gobbo’s father was a judge.22 In fact, for many years, her uncle served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

On 3 April 1995, another search warrant was executed at Ms Gobbo’s home in Rathdowne Street. Small quantities of drugs were seized during the raid, and Mr Wilson was charged with possession and use of cannabis. He was ultimately convicted of these offences and fined $500. Ms Gobbo was not present at the time, nor was she charged with any offences arising from this search warrant.

In July 1995, due to the information that Ms Gobbo was providing to police about Mr Wilson, Mr Ashton and Mr Argall registered her as a human source.23 The following details were included in the registration form:

Informer is a law student at Melbourne [University] currently living with a known criminal. She was charged with [possessing amphetamine] last year as a result of the criminal that was living with her, is quite reliable and seeking a career as a solicitor.24

The registration form specified that the reason for Ms Gobbo being registered as a human source was that she ‘genuinely want[ed] to assist police’. Mr Ashton thought that it was likely that she was registered as a human source due to the ‘substantial’ nature of the information that she was providing.25

At that time, Victoria Police’s process for registering a human source involved an officer giving a registration form in an unsealed envelope to a more senior officer, who would review the information and seal the envelope. A number would then be allocated to the human source.26

Ms Gobbo’s registration number was ‘G3/95’.27

On 12 July 1995, Mr Ashton and Mr Argall took Ms Gobbo to the St Kilda Road Police Station to meet officers of the Special Response Squad.28 The purpose of the meeting was for Ms Gobbo to provide information to Victoria Police about Mr Wilson’s involvement in drug trafficking and firearm possession.29

Throughout the latter part of 1995, Ms Gobbo continued to give information about Mr Wilson to police.30 The Commission understands that Victoria Police has not located any contact reports or information reports (IRs) made by officers documenting their interactions with Ms Gobbo during this period.31

Ms Gobbo is a ‘loose cannon’ (Operation Scorn)

By February 1996, Victoria Police had started another operation in relation to Mr Wilson, known as ‘Operation Scorn’.

In March 1996, police discontinued that operation. At the time, then Detective Senior Sergeant John (Jack) Blayney, APM noted in a report that Ms Gobbo was a ‘loose cannon’ because she was ‘making her own arrangements and not liaising with investigators’.32 He also noted that Ms Gobbo was the ‘informer re ALP/LIB document leaked prior to election’. This was a reference to a recent public dispute that Ms Gobbo was believed to have involved herself in that was occurring between Victorian political parties concerning the source of a forged letter.33

Later, in 2006 and 2007, Mr Blayney came across Ms Gobbo again, when he was a Detective Superintendent and held the position of Major Crime Tasking and Coordination Manager within the Crime Department.

In a statement to the Commission, then Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, APM, Intelligence and Covert Support Command, noted that it is unlikely that the observation that Ms Gobbo was a ‘loose cannon’ would have been known by other officers who later had contact with her, as Victoria Police did not keep an electronic database of information relevant to human sources at the time.34

Ms Gobbo’s admission to practise as a lawyer

On 7 April 1997, Ms Gobbo was admitted to practise as a lawyer in Victoria.35 She completed her articles at Molomby & Molomby Solicitors.36

In her affidavit to the Board of Examiners dated 4 February 1997, Ms Gobbo set out details of her arrest in 1993.37 She described Mr Wilson as a friend who had moved in with her to help with the mortgage, rather than as her de facto partner and a co-owner of her property. She said that she had contacted Victoria Police upon becoming suspicious that Mr Wilson was engaging in drug-related criminal activities and further, that when the police found the drugs at the premises, she had been ‘embarrassed’ and ‘shocked’ as she did not know what had been happening at her house.

Ms Gobbo did not mention that drugs had been located in her bedroom or that she had been found in possession of them, nor that she had shown police where three pounds of amphetamine was hidden. Instead she stated that she had been deemed liable because she was the owner and occupier of the premises where the drugs were found and had followed advice to plead guilty, feeling no other option was available to her.38

Ms Gobbo provides information to police about her employer

By November 1997, Ms Gobbo had left Molomby & Molomby Solicitors and moved to a different Melbourne law firm, Law Firm 1 (a pseudonym). That firm was acting for a number of people charged with drug offences arising from an investigation by the Victoria Police Drug Squad.39 Officer Kruger (a pseudonym) was the informant (the officer responsible for charging the accused person) in proceedings related to some of the accused persons.40

Between 1997 and 1998, Mr Kruger had a number of meetings and telephone conversations with Ms Gobbo about the investigation.41 At some point, Ms Gobbo made allegations to Mr Kruger that her employer, Solicitor 1 (a pseudonym), was engaging in fraudulent activity.42

In July 1998, Mr Kruger and then Detective Senior Constable Christopher Lim, also an officer in the Drug Squad, met Ms Gobbo in relation to Solicitor 1.43 Mr Kruger prepared an IR, which recorded that during the meeting, Ms Gobbo alleged that Solicitor 1 was involved in money laundering.44

Mr Lim thought that it was inappropriate for Ms Gobbo to be used as a human source because she was a lawyer. He also felt she had inappropriate relationships with police officers and was too ‘overt’ in her desire to provide information to police.45

In November 1998, Ms Gobbo left Law Firm 1 to become a barrister.

Around the same time, Ms Gobbo considered undertaking a thesis about police powers of investigation, including the use of undercover operatives and human sources.46

Ms Gobbo’s early conflicts of interest

Representation of Mr Dragan Arnautovic

On 18 November 1997, Mr Dragan Arnautovic was arrested and charged by the Victoria Police Drug Squad in relation to commercial drug trafficking offences. He was subsequently sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of nine years.47 Ms Gobbo represented Mr Arnautovic, both while as a solicitor employed at Law Firm 1 and after she became a barrister, including appearing as junior counsel at his trial.

While representing Mr Arnautovic, Ms Gobbo also represented other accused persons who had been arrested as part of the same investigation. Evidence before the Commission indicates that there may have been a conflict between the interests of these clients.48

Throughout this period, Ms Gobbo was communicating with then Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne Strawhorn of the Drug Squad about another client. According to Mr Strawhorn’s diaries and day books, he and Ms Gobbo met on around nine occasions between May 1998 and August 1999, including six times in relation to some of the clients she was representing referred to above.49

Ms Gobbo acknowledged that during meetings with Mr Strawhorn, he was able to elicit from her information that she had gained in her role as a lawyer acting for people charged by the Drug Squad, and that it was improper for her to provide this information.50

Operation Ramsden

Evidence before the Commission suggests that, around this time, Victoria Police Drug Squad officers investigated whether Ms Gobbo’s then employer, Solicitor 1, was engaging in criminal activity.51 On 2 February 1998, Ms Gobbo recorded in her diary a conversation with then Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Bowden and Mr Kruger. Her notes indicate that they pressured her to help the investigation by implicating Solicitor 1 and told her that her name had appeared ‘on tapes’.52 She wrote in her diary ‘mud sticks; get a raincoat soon’.53

Between May and October 1998, Ms Gobbo met with officers of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) a number of times, and provided information about Solicitor 1, along with information about her clients.54 The AFP told the Commission that Ms Gobbo was never registered as a human source for that agency.55

The following year, on 28 April 1999, Mr Kruger told then Detective Senior Constable Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope of the Asset Recovery Squad about Ms Gobbo’s information that Solicitor 1, her now former employer, had engaged in money laundering.56

The Asset Recovery Squad began an investigation into Solicitor 1 known as ‘Operation Ramsden’.57 At this time, the Asset Recovery Squad was part of the Crime Department in the Major Fraud Group at Victoria Police. It investigated activities including the confiscation of illicit profits pursuant to the Confiscation Act 1997 (Vic) and often interacted with the Drug Squad because of the common cross-overs in their investigations.58

Officers of the Asset Recovery Squad and the Drug Squad met several times about this investigation. A former Victoria Police officer recalled that these meetings often occurred in the open area muster room of the Drug Squad. Consequently, he believed many people may have known that Ms Gobbo was providing information to Victoria Police.59

On 12 May 1999, there was another meeting between Mr Kruger, Mr Strawhorn, Mr Pope and then Detective Sergeant Gavan Segrave, who was also an officer in the Asset Recovery Squad. Mr Kruger recalled that the likely purpose of that meeting was to prepare for the introduction of Ms Gobbo to the Asset Recovery Squad.60

Later that day, Mr Strawhorn and Mr Kruger introduced Mr Pope to Ms Gobbo at the Emerald Hotel in South Melbourne, where they met to discuss her allegations about Solicitor 1.61 This meeting lasted a couple of hours.62

The following day, Mr Pope applied to register Ms Gobbo as a human source.63 In this application, he stated that she was to provide information largely related to ‘fraud/money laundering’. The application also included her criminal record.

On 17 May 1999, Mr Pope and Mr Segrave met with Ms Gobbo to discuss her allegations against Solicitor 1. Mr Pope’s IR recorded that she had made a range of allegations against Solicitor 1, including that he was:

  • fraudulently charging clients eligible for funding from Legal Aid, and simultaneously receiving payments from Legal Aid
  • charging clients for money that was already paid under cost certificates
  • breaching his obligations in relation to his trust account
  • breaching his obligations under the Legal Practice Act 1996 (Vic).64

On 26 May 1999, Mr Segrave approved the application to register Ms Gobbo as a human source. Mr Pope was assigned as her handler. In Mr Segrave’s comments on the application recommending her registration, he noted:

It is believed [Ms Gobbo] will be an ongoing source of info re money laundering/fraud activities. Is both credible/reput … informer had no known previous history of supplying information to law enforcement agencies.65

Ms Gobbo’s registration number was ‘MFG 13’.66

In a statement to the Commission, Mr Segrave noted that Victoria Police policy at the time would have provided little guidance on the appropriate registration of human sources and that registration and other details were recorded in an unsophisticated, paper-based system.67

Around this time, the National Crime Authority (NCA) started an investigation into Solicitor 1 and a real estate agent, Mr Peter Reid, known as Operation Adesine.68 Mr Pope recorded in an IR submitted on 26 May 1999 that Mr Kruger and Mr Lim had introduced Ms Gobbo to Member 1 (a pseudonym) at the NCA.69 Member 1 had informed Mr Pope that Ms Gobbo ‘told them the exact same information which is outlined in previous information reports for this job’.70 In a statement to the Commission, Member 1 said that, having not had access to all of the relevant diaries for that period, they could not recall having had any involvement in any investigation involving Ms Gobbo.71

In a conversation with the Commission, Ms Gobbo recalled that Mr Kruger believed that Mr Reid was using his financial position as a real estate agent to launder money, and that Solicitor 1 was somehow involved. She recalled that she told Solicitor 1 that Mr Kruger and Mr Strawhorn were pressuring her to provide information. She told the Commission that Solicitor 1 wrote to Mr Kruger telling him to stop asking her to speak about Solicitor 1 and the firm’s clients.72

In late May and early June 1999, Mr Pope and Mr Segrave met with other people in relation to the investigation.73 During this time, Mr Pope was in regular contact with Ms Gobbo. Mr Pope submitted IRs recording that they discussed personal matters, such as Mr Pope’s law studies, and Solicitor 1.74 Ms Gobbo gave him computer disks containing documents from Solicitor 1’s computer that she said were relevant to her allegations that he was laundering money.75 In his evidence to the Commission, Mr Paterson advised that Victoria Police has been unable to locate those disks. These disks have not otherwise been provided to the Commission, so it has been unable to ascertain their contents.76

Mr Pope’s IRs also indicated that he and Ms Gobbo discussed her ongoing contact with Mr Reid, and the progression of Mr Reid’s matter in court.77 Mr Pope could not recall whether she was representing Mr Reid at the time.78

During a telephone conversation on 23 June 1999, Ms Gobbo asked Mr Pope whether consent could be obtained to a variation of a restraining order on a property owned by one of her clients.79 Mr Pope told her that he would speak to the informant in the matter. During his evidence to the Commission, Mr Pope agreed that this would not be the ‘appropriate way’ of seeking consent to a variation, as Ms Gobbo should ordinarily have approached the informant.80 In approaching Mr Pope instead, Ms Gobbo was likely ‘testing the relationship’ between them.81

Between August and October 1999, Mr Pope continued to have contact with Ms Gobbo in relation to Operation Ramsden. He described the information she provided during that time as being of no value. In an IR, he recorded that she did not have any new information to provide and was mainly interested in how the investigation was progressing.82

Operation Ramsden did not result in any charges being laid against any individuals.83

Relationship with Detective Senior Constable Stephen Campbell

In around January 1999, Ms Gobbo met then Detective Senior Constable Stephen Campbell, who was a police officer stationed in St Kilda as part of the Embona Taskforce. They began a casual intimate relationship that continued for several years.84

Between 1999 and 2000, during their relationship, Ms Gobbo appeared as defence counsel for Mr John Genis. Mr Campbell was the informant in that matter.85 Mr Campbell told the Commission that he was not aware whether Ms Gobbo had told her client that he and Ms Gobbo were involved in a relationship.86 He considered that the onus was on Ms Gobbo to inform her client but agreed that if the relationship had not been disclosed, it could appear improper.87

In a conversation with the Commission, Ms Gobbo said that it was unlikely that she would have told her client about the relationship.88 She told the Commission she did not believe that she needed to disclose her involvement with an informant if there were no facts in dispute or it would not affect the outcome.89

Declassification as a human source

On 3 January 2000, Mr Segrave requested that Ms Gobbo’s status as a human source be reclassified as inactive.90 The document records the reason for doing so as:

Investigators have had no contact with [Ms Gobbo] since the 23rd September 1999. A final report will shortly be submitted in relation to ‘Operation Ramsden’. Accordingly, it is requested that [Ms Gobbo] be reclassified from ‘active’ to ‘inactive’.91

2000 to 2005: Gangland wars and further involvement with Victoria Police

An overview of Ms Gobbo’s continued involvement with Victoria Police during Melbourne’s ‘gangland wars’ is outlined in Figure 6.2 and discussed further below.

During this period, Victoria Police established the Dedicated Source Unit (DSU). In 2006, the DSU changed its name to the ‘Source Development Unit’ (SDU).92 In this chapter, the Commission refers to both as the ‘SDU’.

Figure 6.2: Timeline of Ms Gobbo’s further involvement with Victoria Police, 2000–05
2000

2000–02: Melbourne’s ‘gangland wars’ are taking place, driven by deep animosity between, on the one hand, Mr Carl Williams and Mr Antonios (Tony) Mokbel, and on the other, the Moran family. Events escalate with a series of murders including those of Mr Mark Moran, Mr Dino Dibra, Mr Victor Peirce and Mr Paul Kallipolitis

2001

September: Mr Terrence (Terry) Hodson is registered as a human source by Victoria Police after being arrested by Detective Senior Constable David Miechel of the Drug Squad. Mr Miechel becomes Mr Hodson’s handler.

2002

Early 2002: The Victoria Police Drug Squad is replaced by the Major Drug Investigation Division (MDID) after serious corruption is identified among its officers, including in relation to the management of human sources. Mr Miechel is transferred to the MDID.

2002–03: By early 2002, Ms Gobbo is representing Mr Mokbel. Ms Gobbo meets with then Detective Inspector Peter De Santo of the Ceja Taskforce to discuss corrupt police officers who had been involved in investigating Mr Mokbel.

2003

12 May: The Purana Taskforce is established to investigate the gangland murders.

21 June: Mr Jason Moran and Mr Pasquale Barbaro are murdered in a public place in front of children, leading to elevated community concerns about the gangland wars.

22 September: Then Detective Senior Sergeant Philip Swindells speaks to Ms Gobbo about threats she has received from Mr Andrew Veniamin, an associate of Mr Williams, for representing Mr Lewis Moran.

27 September: An attempted burglary occurs at a house in Dublin Street, Oakleigh, resulting in the arrest of Mr Hodson and Mr Miechel.

3 October: Mr Hodson tells then Detective Senior Sergeant Andrew (Murray) Gregor of the Ethical Standards Department that then Detective Sergeant Paul Dale of the MDID was also involved in the Dublin Street burglary. Mr Dale is Mr Miechel’s supervisor.

9 October: Ms Gobbo meets Mr Dale at a pub after he contacts her for legal advice. She meets with him again a few days later.

25 October: Mr Michael Marshall is murdered by Mr Andrews (a pseudonym) and Mr McGrath (a pseudonym) on the orders of Mr Williams.

November: Ms Gobbo begins representing Mr McGrath, who has been arrested for the murder of Mr Marshall. He is also suspected of involvement in the murders of Mr Moran and Mr Barbaro.

5 December: Mr Dale, Mr Miechel and Mr Hodson are arrested for the Dublin Street burglary. Mr Dale calls Ms Gobbo.

7 December: Ms Gobbo visits Mr Dale in prison. He gives her some handwritten notes to give to his solicitor. Ms Gobbo keeps a copy.

2004

January: After a pilot program, Victoria Police establishes a specialised unit to manage high-risk human sources, known then as the Dedicated Source Unit (DSU) and later known as the Source Development Unit (SDU).

15 or 16 May: Mr Terry Hodson and his wife, Mrs Christine Hodson, are murdered in their home.

18 June: Mr McGrath agrees to become a witness in relation to gangland murders. Ms Gobbo speaks to then Detective Sergeant Stuart Bateson about her safety concerns if it became known to Mr Williams and others that she was acting for Mr McGrath.

24 July: Ms Gobbo has a stroke.

August: The MDID is interested in Ms Gobbo as she is thought to have useful information regarding organised crime.

2005

15 August: Mr Bickley (a pseudonym) is arrested in relation to manufacturing drugs for Mr Mokbel. Ms Gobbo is contacted but cannot attend his police interview. Mr Mokbel later briefs her to act for Mr Bickley.

31 August: Ms Gobbo speaks to then Detective Senior Constable Paul Rowe and then Detective Sergeant Steve Mansell about her concerns that she is compromised in her representation of Mr Bickley, and in relation to providing information to police about organised crime.

Beginning of the gangland wars

The gangland wars involved violent disputes between rival gangs in Melbourne, including multiple murders of organised crime figures, which occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Two of the major rival gangs were individuals associated with the Moran family and with the Williams family.

Although there had been conflict between gangland identities throughout the 1990s, the wars appear to have escalated when Mr Carl Williams was shot in the stomach by Mr Jason and Mr Mark Moran due to a dispute about money in late 1999. Mr Williams survived and sought revenge against the Morans.

Approximately 17 people were murdered between 1998 and mid-2003.

Escalation of the gangland wars

Establishment of Purana Taskforce

Between 2000 and 2002, many criminal figures were murdered as the violence associated with the gangland wars continued.

It became clear that the murders and shootings were retributive or pre-emptive strikes involving various organised crime groups fighting for control and influence in Melbourne’s illicit drug trade.

On 12 May 2003, in response to public concern over the escalation of violence, Victoria Police set up the Purana Taskforce. Its goal was to dismantle the criminal syndicates responsible for these murders. Initially, it was tasked to investigate three unsolved homicides, those of Mr Dino Dibra, Mr Paul Kallipolitis and Mr Nikolai Radev. Its first target was Mr Andrew Veniamin, a hitman associated with Mr Williams’ crew.93

In a statement to the Commission, former Detective Senior Sergeant Gavan Ryan, an officer of the newly formed taskforce, described the environment as ‘pressure-packed’.94 He said police were under pressure from Government to halt the shootings and the flow of drugs through Melbourne. Mr Ryan gave evidence that the Purana Taskforce was receiving ‘constant’ intelligence about impending murders from a variety of sources.95

There are two key phases of the investigative activities of the Purana Taskforce that are of relevance to the Commission:

  • phase one, which focused on the gangland murders and Mr Williams’ criminal enterprise (May 2003–November 2005)
  • phase two, which focused on the criminal enterprise of Mr Antonios (Tony) Mokbel (November 2005 onwards).96

Ms Gobbo’s involvement spanned both phases.

On 21 June 2003, just weeks after the formation of the Purana Taskforce, Mr Jason Moran and his associate Mr Pasquale Barbaro were shot and killed while sitting in a van with a number of children after an Auskick football clinic. This was a significant event, as it was the first gangland murder that occurred in a public place, in front of children. Community concerns about the violence and fears for public safety increased, and as a result, the Purana Taskforce received significant additional resources.

On 25 October 2003, Mr Michael Marshall died after being shot five times outside his home in front of his young son in South Yarra. The individuals who carried out this murder were also involved in the murders of Mr Moran and Mr Barbaro.

Ms Gobbo’s connections with gangland identities

Ms Gobbo was developing a client base that included many members of various Melbourne organised crime groups. By 2002, she was acting for a range of clients who Victoria Police suspected were engaging in serious criminal conduct, including drug trafficking and murder.97 Those clients included Mr Williams, Mr Mokbel and many of their associates.98

In his evidence to the Commission, Commander Stuart Bateson, who was a Detective Sergeant in the Purana Taskforce at the time, said that he believed Ms Gobbo was a close associate of many of her clients. He added that Purana detectives considered that she was part of a ‘small cadre’ of criminal lawyers who ‘were willing to do anything to keep their clients out [of prison] and operating their criminal enterprises’.99

Ms Gobbo’s conflict in representing Person 12 (a pseudonym)

In 2003, Mr Campbell and others were charged with several offences.100 Mr Campbell said that, on the day he was charged, Ms Gobbo approached him and offered assistance. He continued to speak to her about his case as it progressed.101 During this time, Mr Campbell maintained his casual intimate relationship with Ms Gobbo, including when she represented Person 12 (a pseudonym), who had agreed to give evidence against Mr Campbell and his co-accused.102 Mr Campbell told the Commission that he was aware Ms Gobbo was representing Person 12 at that time.103

In his evidence to the Commission, Person 12 told the Commission that he only learned of Ms Gobbo’s personal relationship with Mr Campbell, and that she was providing advice to him about his charges, when Counsel Assisting the Commission told him during cross-examination. He said he was shocked that this occurred; that he would not have engaged Ms Gobbo to represent him had he known; and that he was concerned she may have divulged his instructions to Mr Campbell and his other co-accused.104

Corruption in the Drug Squad and Ms Gobbo’s interactions with the Major Drug Investigation Division

In 2001, an investigation known as Operation Hemi found longstanding corrupt practices in the Victoria Police Drug Squad. This led then Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon, APM to commission the Review of the Victoria Police Drug Squad (Purton Review) which was finalised later that year.105

The Purton Review identified concerns about the internal workings of the Drug Squad, including its management and structure. In early 2002, the Ceja Taskforce was established in the Victoria Police Ethical Standards Department (ESD) to investigate the Drug Squad’s corrupt activities.

The Drug Squad was later disbanded and replaced with the Major Drug Investigation Division (MDID). Although Ms Nixon’s intention was to staff the MDID with officers who were not part of the former Drug Squad so as to end corruption, some former Drug Squad officers were transferred to the newly established MDID due to industrial relations issues.106

Meetings with the Ethical Standards Department

In 2002 and 2003, Ms Gobbo spoke to investigators attached to the ESD. She spoke primarily to then Detective Inspector Peter De Santo, who was involved in the Ceja Taskforce.107

Mr De Santo told the Commission that, in around 2002, he had several interactions with Ms Gobbo when she was acting for Mr Mokbel. At the time, Mr De Santo was investigating police officers involved in targeting Mr Mokbel as part of the Taskforce Kayak. It was alleged that those police officers had engaged in corruption.108 Taskforce Kayak is explained in further detail below.

In his evidence to the Commission, Mr De Santo said that Ms Gobbo, who had become aware of the investigation, would seek information from him.

Mr De Santo perceived that she:

… saw that Kayak [Taskforce] had charged Mokbel and others, that there was corruption within Kayak; that if [he] proved that corruption by way of conviction she was able to leverage off those convictions in order to taint the evidence that they were going to give in the trials against Mokbel and others.109

First meetings with Mr Paul Dale

On 17 June 2002, Mr Paul Dale was promoted to Detective Sergeant in the MDID. He told the Commission that he first met Ms Gobbo in 2002 in a professional capacity.110 She made a bail application for an individual who had been charged with drug trafficking and Mr Dale was the informant in that matter.111

In 2003, Mr Dale found out that Ms Gobbo was speaking to Mr De Santo about corruption within the disbanded Drug Squad.112 In his evidence to the Commission, Mr Dale said he saw this as a delaying tactic to enable her clients, such as Mr Williams and Mr Mokbel, to get bail.113

Mr Dale added that as Ms Gobbo had represented many accused persons charged by the MDID, he encountered her regularly. He said that it was clear that she was a ‘go to’ lawyer for people charged with major drug trafficking offences.114

Mr Dale stated that they began to develop a more social relationship after they met at a Victoria Police function and that he began to recommend her to those whom the MDID had arrested.115 In a conversation with the Commission, Ms Gobbo denied that Mr Dale referred accused persons to her.116

Mr Dale and Ms Gobbo developed a personal relationship in 2003 or 2004 including, at least at one time, an intimate relationship.117

Registration and use of Mr Terry Hodson as a human source

The Drug Squad’s Taskforce Kayak commenced in mid-October 2000, targeting large-scale drug traffickers including Mr Mokbel and Mr Rabie (Rob) Karam. One of the taskforce’s many ongoing investigations focused on the Hodson family. Mr Terrence (Terry) Hodson was a career criminal well known to police. As earlier attempts to target him had been unsuccessful, investigators now concentrated on his children, Mr Andrew Hodson and Ms Mandy Leonard.

As part of that operation, the Hodson children were arrested for trafficking 1,500 ecstasy tablets. Mr Terry Hodson was also arrested by then Detective Senior Constable David Miechel, an officer in Mr Dale’s team.118

Following these arrests, Mr Miechel and Mr Strawhorn cultivated Mr Terry Hodson as a human source, using the charges against his children as leverage.119 A few weeks after Mr Terry Hodson’s arrest, Mr Miechel recruited and registered him as a human source.

Mr Terry Hodson was a prolific human source. He provided information on numerous high-profile targets, leading the MDID to many successful investigations and arrests in 2002 and 2003.120

Ms Gobbo had previously acted for Mr Terry Hodson’s son, Mr Andrew Hodson, in relation to a bail application in 2002.121

Then Detective Senior Constable Cameron Davey of the Homicide Squad conducted an interview with Ms Gobbo in July 2004. In the IR submitted later, he noted that Ms Gobbo said she was well aware of Mr Terry Hodson’s status as a human source. When representing someone else charged by Mr Miechel, Ms Gobbo said that she had obtained police notes, surveillance logs and possibly some IRs that suggested a human source was involved. By February 2002, she was aware that the human source was Mr Terry Hodson due to her association with Mr Mokbel. She also knew Mr Terry Hodson was the human source in relation to another of her clients.122

Ms Gobbo and the Dublin Street burglary

In June 2003, the MDID launched Operation Galop, targeting large-scale manufacturing and trafficking of ecstasy tablets. On 27 September 2003, a ‘drug house’ in Dublin Street, Oakleigh was burgled. Police arrested Mr Miechel and Mr Terry Hodson near the scene. Others arrested on drug charges in the fallout from the burglary included Mr Azzam Ahmed, Ms Abby Haynes and Ms Colleen O’Reilly.

The ESD attended the scene on the night of the arrests because Mr Miechel was a serving police officer.123 Mr Miechel and Mr Terry Hodson were both later released without being charged.124

Victoria Police set up Operation Nutation to investigate the burglary. Then Detective Senior Sergeant Andrew (Murray) Gregor of the ESD was the principal investigator and informant. Early in the investigation, the ESD identified that Mr Terry Hodson’s cooperation could be useful.125

On 29 September 2003, the ESD decided that Mr De Santo would approach Mr Terry Hodson via his son, Mr Andrew Hodson, and Ms Gobbo. Later that day, Ms Gobbo telephoned Mr De Santo and said that Mr Terry and Mr Andrew Hodson were to attend her chambers the next day, and that Mr Andrew Hodson had told her that his father was ‘very scared’ of police.126

On 3 October 2003, Mr Gregor met with Mr Terry and Mr Andrew Hodson. According to Mr Gregor, Mr De Santo arranged the meeting to ascertain whether Mr Terry Hodson would cooperate and provide a statement.127 Mr Gregor told the Commission that, during the meeting, Mr Terry Hodson said that a police sergeant had been involved in the burglary, and ‘intimated’ that this was Mr Dale.128 Mr Gregor also said that Mr Terry Hodson claimed Mr Dale and Mr Miechel had threatened him and his family.129

Mr De Santo told the Commission that on the following day, 4 October 2003, Mr Terry Hodson called him and said that contact had been made by the ‘three striper’, who told him that they should ‘stick together’ and that there was ‘no need to get into bed with anyone’. Mr Terry Hodson also told Mr De Santo that the ‘three striper’ was sleeping with the ‘blonde lady’.130 In his evidence to the Commission, Mr De Santo confirmed his view that the ‘three striper’ was Mr Dale and the ‘blonde lady’ was Ms Gobbo.131

Mr Gregor said that, on 6 October 2003, he, along with Mr De Santo, met with Mr Terry Hodson, who agreed to assist police and attend an interview.132

On 16 October 2003, Mr Terry Hodson called Mr Gregor and told him that he met with Ms Gobbo and that she was ‘feeling him out’ and trying to obtain information from him to pass on to Mr Dale.133

The following day, Mr Gregor spoke with Mr Terry Hodson on the phone and they discussed a further meeting between Mr Terry Hodson and Ms Gobbo that had occurred the previous day.134 Mr Terry Hodson said that Ms Gobbo had told him that she had seen Mr Dale recently and that Mr Dale was ‘sticking by’ Mr Miechel.135

On 25 October 2003, Mr Gregor met with Mr Terry Hodson and obtained a signed statement from him.136 He also gave him a covert recording device, which he was to use if he met with Mr Dale. Mr Gregor encouraged him to meet with Ms Gobbo to gather information against Mr Dale in relation to the burglary.

Mr Gregor said he encouraged Mr Terry Hodson to speak to Ms Gobbo because he knew that Ms Gobbo and Mr Dale were in contact. He said that it did not cross his mind that Ms Gobbo may have acted as Mr Dale’s lawyer, though he suspected that she might have given him informal or ‘off the record’ advice. According to Mr Gregor, Ms Gobbo had never held herself out as Mr Dale’s lawyer.137

On 6 November 2003, Mr Gregor again met with Mr Terry Hodson, together with then Detective Senior Sergeant Ian Snare.138 During this discussion, Mr Terry Hodson recounted an earlier meeting with Ms Gobbo. He told Mr Gregor that she said:

  • she met with Mr Dale on 30 October 2003 and he seemed physically ill and paranoid
  • she thought Mr Dale was involved in the Dublin Street burglary
  • Mr Miechel and Mr Dale could be doing things without her knowledge
  • Mr Dale had not asked her for legal advice
  • she had heard a rumour that Mr Miechel had made a statement to ESD
  • Mr Dale was paranoid that Mr Miechel was cooperating with ESD.139
Ms Gobbo as Mr Paul Dale’s legal adviser

In his evidence to the Commission, Mr Dale said of his relationship with Ms Gobbo that there was a ‘crossover of professional and personal’. He explained:

… a number of those occasions where we met either as a result of either I contacting her or however it happened, those went from speaking at a café, bar, whatever, over lunch, dinner, whatever happens to be to too many drinks and a lot of things were said and she certainly told me a lot of things that you wouldn’t expect her to tell about her clients.140

He said that Ms Gobbo was at times his legal adviser and they had conversations that he considered were legally privileged.141

On 5 December 2003, Mr Dale, Mr Miechel and Mr Terry Hodson were arrested in relation to the Dublin Street burglary. Mr Dale’s charge was based on information provided by Mr Terry Hodson. Mr Dale contacted Ms Gobbo because he viewed her as his best chance of obtaining bail.142

In evidence to the Commission, Mr Dale said that he could not recall the details of their conversation but that he sought her out previously for legal advice in preparation for being arrested, and that because she was aware of his legal situation and circumstances, she was his ‘go to’ lawyer.143

He understood that Ms Gobbo could not represent him because she was acting for others who had been charged in relation to the burglary.144 In a statement to the Commission, Mr Dale said that he discussed the conflict with Ms Gobbo, ‘who maintained that she could still assist me in a semi-formal manner and we agreed I would run most things by her when I needed her expert legal advice in regards to drug trafficking charges that I was facing’.145 He said he was in regular contact with her to seek legal advice and it was his belief these conversations were all confidential.146

Mr Dale said that in the lead up to his bail application, he believed that Ms Gobbo would assist his solicitor, Mr Tony Hargreaves, with the application.147 Mr Dale also told the Commission that Ms Gobbo and Mr Hargreaves had advised him not to make a bail application at that time, so he did not pursue it.148

In relation to the arrest of Mr Dale, Ms Gobbo noted in her court book that Mr Gregor arrested Mr Dale, and that ‘either Miechel or Hodson has rolled’.149 She also noted that she had read a statement made in relation to the matter, and the contents of it was too detailed to be made up.150

On 7 December 2003, Ms Gobbo visited Mr Dale in prison.151 According to Mr Dale, he gave her some handwritten notes about matters relevant to his bail application and instructed her to hand those notes to Mr Hargreaves.152

Mr Dale said that he was advised he could only be represented by Mr Hargreaves and a specific counsel, who was not Ms Gobbo, if he wanted to receive funding from The Police Association for the matter.153 Despite discussions about engaging alternative counsel, Mr Dale told the Commission that he had still considered that Ms Gobbo was acting for him because they continued to meet and discuss his legal matters:

I still believed she was acting for me, because I kept continually meeting with her and discussing criminal matters, my issues, my matters. When I say she’s acting for me, you’re right, she couldn’t act at court for me, I guess, but I was still seeking her out for advice.154

Ms Gobbo’s diary records that, on 14 December 2003, she visited Mr Dale in prison in a professional capacity.155 She made notes that indicate they discussed Mr Dale’s case, and that as a result Ms Gobbo was to speak to various people.156

On 15 December 2003, Mr Dale was released on bail.

The Hodsons murders

On 15 or 16 May 2004, Mr Terry Hodson and his wife, Mrs Christine Hodson, were murdered in their home in Kew. Mr Terry Hodson’s plea in relation to the Dublin Street burglary was scheduled to be heard at the Supreme Court of Victoria on 19 August 2004.157 He had orally agreed to give evidence against Mr Dale and Mr Miechel and had been advised by police that this assistance would substantially reduce his sentence.158

The committal hearing for Mr Dale and Mr Miechel was scheduled for 4 October 2004.

Mr Charlie Bezzina, then Senior Sergeant in the Homicide Squad, attended the scene and was in charge of the investigation.

Mr De Santo also attended the scene.159 Mr De Santo told the Commission that Ms Gobbo contacted him; that she told him Mr Andrew Hodson believed his parents had been murdered; and that she wanted to give Mr De Santo’s telephone number to Mr Jim Valos, Mr Andrew Hodson’s solicitor. Mr De Santo agreed to her providing his telephone number directly to Mr Andrew Hodson.160

Mr De Santo said that Mr Andrew Hodson then called him and told him that he was at his parents’ house, that they had been murdered and that he believed that Mr Dale was involved. He said that it was he who had called the police. He wanted Mr De Santo to come to the house.161

On 1 July 2004, Ms Gobbo attended a meeting with Mr Bezzina and Mr Davey at the Homicide Squad offices at St Kilda Road Police Station, to discuss the Hodson murders. She was interviewed as a potential witness, but the interview was video recorded, something usually reserved for suspects. Although they discussed a range of matters, the resulting IR showed that she did not supply any information of value to the investigation.162

Ms Gobbo told Mr Bezzina and Mr Davey that she was aware an IR identifying Mr Terry Hodson as a human source was circulating within the criminal community for several months prior to his murder.163

Mr Bezzina demonstrated a willingness to receive further information from Ms Gobbo in the following exchange from that interview:

MR BEZZINA: Well, that’s about where we’re at and down the track if—and I don’t want you to put yourself in any position where you shouldn’t be but because of the people that you come in contact with…

MS GOBBO: Yeah.

MR BEZZINA: …and things you’re obviously going to hear and, as I said, putting ESD aside and everybody else, if you come across information you think we should be aware of to try and solve it, that’s all I’m—you know, if you can give us a call.

MS GOBBO: As long as I’m not video-taped, Charlie.

MR BEZZINA: Yeah, no. No, well, you’re right. So all I want is a phone call to say well, if we need a push in the right direction, that’s what I ask and the end of the day there’s someone out there who’s callous enough to commit the murder in the way it was committed. And if they had an issue with Terry that’s all one thing but then to take out Christine.164

In a statement to the Commission, Mr Bezzina recalled that Ms Gobbo could have been identified as a potential witness to the Hodson murders due to her association with Mr Mokbel, as Victoria Police had identified evidence linking Mr Mokbel to the murders.165 Mr Bezzina told the Commission that at the time of the interview, he was unaware of Ms Gobbo’s personal relationship with Mr Dale.166

Contact with Purana Taskforce

‘Our door is always open’: Victoria Police

As Ms Gobbo’s legal career continued, she became more entrenched in her role as a legal adviser to organised crime figures. In 2003, she received threats from a close associate of Mr Williams following her representation of members of the Moran family, perceived by Mr Williams and Mr Mokbel as rivals.167

On 21 July 2003, Ms Gobbo represented Mr Lewis Moran in a successful application for bail.168 In the days following that hearing, she was threatened by Mr Veniamin.169 Ms Gobbo said Mr Veniamin went to her apartment building and confronted her about this perceived disloyalty, including calling her a ‘dog’.170

On 22 September 2003, Ms Gobbo again appeared for Mr Moran in relation to a variation of bail.171 Afterwards, on the steps of the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, Ms Gobbo said she was approached by Mr Philip Swindells, at that time a Detective Senior Sergeant in the Purana Taskforce.172 Ms Gobbo stated that Mr Swindells told her the police were aware of Mr Veniamin’s threats and that she should contact police if she wanted to discuss the situation.173

In his evidence to the Commission, Mr Swindells said that Ms Gobbo declined to make a formal report due to her fear of reprisal. She told him she had made a statutory declaration detailing the threats and placed it in a safe, so that if she were killed, Victoria Police would know who was responsible.174

Between 2003 and 2004, Ms Gobbo had numerous discussions with Mr Bateson of the Purana Taskforce, about assisting Victoria Police and about her safety concerns.175 Mr Bateson told the Commission that, after a hearing in 2004 concerning her client, Mr McGrath, Ms Gobbo told him that she was concerned for her welfare if it were to become known that she was representing this client. In a statement to the Commission, Mr Bateson said he told Ms Gobbo ‘our door was always open if she needed assistance’.176

The crack in the dam wall of silence: contact with Purana Taskforce

Victoria Police knew of Ms Gobbo’s knowledge of and connection to Melbourne’s organised crime networks. Ms Gobbo told the Commission that she had come to know ‘who’s who in the zoo … and [had] a great deal of knowledge about the intricacies of the drug trade in Melbourne’.177 It became apparent to her over time that officers were aware that she possessed this in-depth knowledge of gangland identities.178

By 2003, many murders that had occurred in the context of the gangland wars remained unsolved.

The Purana Taskforce attempted to dismantle the criminal networks by gathering intelligence and targeting their weakest and most susceptible members. It considered that this method would mean that those arrested and charged would be more likely to cooperate with police and provide evidence against their co-accused, or against those higher up in the criminal network.179 In evidence to the Commission, Mr Swindells said that the Purana Taskforce was keen to encourage these criminals to cooperate with police.180

From 2003, Ms Gobbo was representing Mr McGrath, who had been charged in relation to the murders of Mr Jason Moran, Mr Barbaro, and Mr Marshall.

Purana Taskforce investigators met with Mr McGrath while he was in prison, as he had shown a willingness to assist police. They hoped to obtain information from him about a series of murders. In turn, Mr McGrath wanted to negotiate a plea deal in relation to his charges. In colloquial police terminology, they hoped he would 'roll'.

Mr McGrath complied and provided a number of statements against other criminal identities, becoming the first of a number of significant ‘roll over’ witnesses for the Purana Taskforce.181 Ms Gobbo later asserted that he was the ‘crack in the [dam] wall of silence that led to a flood’.182

In June 2004, Mr Bateson attended prison several times to meet with and take statements from Mr McGrath. The following month, Mr Bateson and Mr Mark Hatt, then a Detective Senior Constable in the Purana Taskforce, attended prison to give Mr McGrath draft versions of those statements. Mr McGrath said that he was largely happy with their contents but asked that Ms Gobbo review and ‘sign off’ on them.183 Mr Bateson arranged this with Ms Gobbo.184

On 10 July 2004, Mr Hatt attended Ms Gobbo’s chambers with the statements. She reviewed them and made some comments, including that she was sceptical of her client’s assertions about the murder of Mr Marshall.185

The next day, Ms Gobbo visited Mr McGrath in prison.186 The following day, Mr Bateson and Mr Hatt visited him to revise his statements.187 Mr McGrath altered his statement as to whether he believed he and his co-accused were going to Mr Marshall’s home to collect a debt rather than to kill him and whether Mr McGrath was to be paid.188

Due to her representation of Mr McGrath at this time, Ms Gobbo was in regular contact with key Purana Taskforce investigators.189 This contact continued into 2005 in relation to a range of matters not limited to Mr McGrath, prior to her formal registration as a human source.

Ms Gobbo’s health issues

On 24 July 2004, Ms Gobbo was hospitalised after suffering a stroke.190 This caused left-sided paralysis and temporary loss of speech. She had been taken to hospital by her client and close friend, Mr Ahmed, who was an associate of Mr Mokbel.191 She said that, while she was in hospital, the Mokbel family and many of their associates visited her.192

She later underwent heart surgery, after a hole in her heart was identified.193 In the ensuing years, she claimed to experience chronic pain, likely a result of her stroke.194

Ongoing contact with Mr Stuart Bateson

On 1 March 2005, the committal proceedings of Mr Williams, Mr Andrews (a pseudonym) and Mr Thomas (a pseudonym) for the murders of Mr Jason Moran, Mr Barbaro and Mr Marshall took place. Mr McGrath was a key witness. Victoria Police argued a public interest immunity (PII) claim before the Chief Magistrate to prevent the disclosure of their notes identifying that Ms Gobbo was acting for Mr McGrath.195 Mr Bateson had made the redactions to the notes after Ms Gobbo had expressed concern for her safety, fearing that Mr Williams and others might find out that she had acted for and not stopped Mr McGrath from assisting police.196 The Chief Magistrate allowed the PII claim.197

On 23 March 2005, Ms Gobbo phoned Mr Bateson to thank him for ensuring that her name was not mentioned during the committal proceeding.198 She raised concerns about various lawyers who acted for individuals involved in the gangland wars. Mr Bateson was interested in gathering intelligence about these lawyers, as the Purana Taskforce thought that they were part of criminal enterprises and were facilitating criminal activity.199

Mr Bateson and Ms Gobbo later had several phone conversations and meetings.200 Many related to Operation Pedal, an investigation into money laundering allegations about Solicitor 2 (a pseudonym). In a discussion on 21 July 2005, Ms Gobbo suggested that Solicitor 2 should be questioned about the source of client funds.201

During these conversations, they also discussed her clients, including Mr Mokbel and Mr George Williams.202

Ms Gobbo continued to press for Victoria Police to conceal her role in providing legal advice to Mr McGrath. On 22 May 2005, she called Mr Bateson to say she was worried about her safety if Mr Hatt was cross-examined about taking Mr McGrath’s statement in the Mark Moran murder as this could reveal that she had represented Mr McGrath.203 Ms Gobbo expressed similar concerns for her safety in a telephone call to Mr Bateson on 1 September 2005. She was concerned that Solicitor 2, who was representing Mr Carl Williams in relation to the murder of Mr Moran, would receive unedited notes revealing Ms Gobbo’s representation of Mr McGrath through the disclosure process. Mr Bateson assured her that Victoria Police would resist this.204

Ms Gobbo also appeared to be motivated in speaking to Mr Bateson by her personal dislike and jealousy of Solicitor 2, who had effectively usurped Ms Gobbo in providing legal advice to Mr Mokbel.205

Further contact with the Major Drug Investigation Division

Knowledge and interest in Ms Gobbo

By mid-2004, the MDID was receiving information that Ms Gobbo’s involvement with her clients went beyond a professional relationship and that she may be willing to share information with Victoria Police about these clients.206

During a meeting on 10 August 2004, attended by then Detective Senior Sergeant James (Jim) O’Brien, Detective Sergeant Steve Mansell, then Detective Senior Constable Paul Rowe, Officer Sandy White (a pseudonym) and other MDID officers, the possibility of applying to intercept Ms Gobbo’s telephone was discussed.207

It is clear that around this time, Mr White, who later went on to register Ms Gobbo as a human source, considered that Ms Gobbo may have information about organised crime due to her high-profile association with major criminals that could be of assistance to police.208 After Ms Gobbo’s stroke a month earlier, he thought that she might be ‘vulnerable to an approach’.209

On 26 August 2004, the MDID produced a profile of Ms Gobbo, which referred to her criminal history and her association with criminal figures.210

Arrest of Mr Bickley (a pseudonym)

On 15 August 2005, Mr Bickley was arrested in relation to serious drug offending arising from ‘Operation Quills’, an investigation into an aspect of the Mokbel drug operation that the MDID had been running since 2004.211 Mr Mokbel asked Ms Gobbo to act for Mr Bickley.212

On 31 August 2005, Ms Gobbo called Mr Rowe about Mr Bickley’s bail application, which was listed for hearing that day.213 Ms Gobbo said that she did not want to represent Mr Bickley, but she felt compelled to do so as Mr Mokbel was pressuring her. She also told Mr Rowe it was not in Mr Bickley's best interests for her to represent him and that she had a conflict of interest as it appeared that Mr Bickley could provide evidence about Mr Mokbel’s involvement in criminal activities.214 It appeared obvious to Mr Rowe that Mr Mokbel was paying Mr Bickley’s legal fees and pressuring her to look after Mr Mokbel’s rather than Mr Bickley’s interests.215

Mr Rowe suggested that he and Mr Mansell would meet Ms Gobbo at court to discuss the matter in person.216 Mr Rowe told the Commission that police had long suspected Mr Mokbel was controlling his associates’ legal representation and that Ms Gobbo may herself have been involved in some level of criminality.217

At 9.30am on the same day, Mr Mansell and Mr Rowe spoke to Ms Gobbo at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.218 Mr Rowe said that she was open and candid in the details she provided during this conversation.219

Mr Rowe’s evidence to the Commission was that:

  • Ms Gobbo discussed her association with Mr Mokbel at length, including that he used her to gather information to benefit him and his associates.220
  • She was forced to represent Mr Mokbel’s associates in a way that suited Mr Mokbel’s interests, rather than those of her other clients.221
  • She was concerned that her continued representation of Mr Mokbel was affecting her reputation within the criminal justice system and that she may be committing criminal offences in assisting him.222
  • This arrangement with Mr Mokbel was putting her under a lot of pressure and causing her stress, which she was concerned was affecting her health.223
  • Towards the end of their conversation, Mr Mansell said to her something like ‘you should get on board’, and she responded to the effect, ‘if anyone finds out I’d end up dead’.224

In his evidence to the Commission, Mr Rowe said:

She was 100 per cent looking for a way out of that environment where she felt compelled to do these things on behalf of people that, let’s face it, were involved in serious organised crime for many, many years, homicides, large-scale drug trafficking and—don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she doesn’t have a level of responsibility for her own behaviour, but she was under enormous pressure and looking for a way out, a hand of friendship.225

He also agreed that Ms Gobbo’s deciding to ‘get on board’ was ‘a way out’ that Victoria Police could offer her but ‘ultimately that decision was up to her’.226

Later that afternoon, Mr Rowe and Mr Mansell had a further conversation with Ms Gobbo.227 Mr Rowe, in a statement to the Commission regarding that conversation, said that:

  • Ms Gobbo seemed to be ‘venting to get a lot of information off her chest’, particularly in relation to Mr Mokbel.
  • She said that she felt conflicted in relation to Mr Bickley, as Mr Mokbel expected her to ensure he did not cooperate with police, which she thought was against his interests.
  • She said that she viewed aligning herself with the police as a way out of her arrangement with Mr Mokbel.
  • They discussed the process of cooperating with police, to which Ms Gobbo said something to the effect that ‘she would be killed’ if people found out and she wanted assurances that she would be looked after if she did give information to police.
  • He and Mr Mansell told her that, if she did cooperate, she would be managed by other officers who were ‘specialists’.
  • By the end of the conversation, he felt that Ms Gobbo had already made up her mind to cooperate with police. He said that neither he nor Mr Mansell pressured her to do so.228

Mr Rowe and Mr Mansell reported this conversation to Mr O’Brien.229 Mr O’Brien told the Commission that, on this conversation being reported to him, he either advised Mr Mansell and Mr Rowe to contact the SDU, or he spoke directly to someone from the SDU.230

As described below, the SDU was a newly established unit that specialised in managing high-risk human sources. Mr O’Brien said that he referred Ms Gobbo to the SDU as, when Ms Gobbo indicated a willingness to assist police, it was proper procedure for her to be sent to that unit as the MDID no longer played any role in assessing, registering or handling human sources.231

2005 to 2009: Human source and witness

An overview of Ms Gobbo’s interaction with Victoria Police, including as a registered human source in 2005–09, is outlined in Figure 6.3 and discussed further below.

Figure 6.3: Timeline of Ms Gobbo’s use as a human source, 2005–09
2005

16 September: Ms Gobbo meets with the Source Development Unit (SDU) for the first time. The unit registers her as a human source (for a third time, unbeknown to them) with the number ‘21803838’, commonly shortened to ‘3838’. A series of assessment meetings are conducted between September to November.

15 November: An application for formal approval of Ms Gobbo’s use as a human source is submitted. As part of the process, the SDU completes a risk assessment and notes that the overall risk of registering her as a human source is ‘high’ but concludes the value of the information she could supply outweighs the risks.

2006

22 April: Mr Cooper (a pseudonym), a client of Ms Gobbo, is arrested based on detailed information she provided to the SDU. Despite being told by her handlers not to attend, Ms Gobbo insists on attending his police interview on the night of his arrest. She provides legal advice and encourages him to cooperate with police. As a result, Mr Antonios (Tony) Mokbel and many of his associates are ultimately convicted of serious criminal offences.

26 April: The SDU completes a second risk assessment that identifies new risks to Ms Gobbo’s safety, including that she had informed on a number of people who could pose a risk to her, and that she had assisted a number of ‘high level criminals’ in cooperating with police.

27 April: Then Superintendent Anthony (Tony) Biggin conducts an audit of Ms Gobbo’s SDU file. He identifies no issues of concern.

17 May: Then Assistant Commissioner Simon Overland, APM and SDU officers meet to discuss winding down Ms Gobbo’s use as a human source. They agree there is a need for an 'exit strategy'.

2007

March: The Briars Taskforce is established to investigate the murder of Mr Shane Chartres-Abbott. The Petra Taskforce is established to investigate the murders of Mr Terrence (Terry) Hodson and Mrs Christine Hodson. Ms Gobbo is asked to assist with both investigations.

5 June: Ms Gobbo provides the SDU with a bill of lading and other documents that had been given to her by a client, Mr Rabie (Rob) Karam. This may have led to the seizure of a large quantity of ecstasy by law enforcement authorities, and the prosecution of several individuals, commonly known as the 'Tomato Tins' prosecution.

22 June: Ms Gobbo passes on information from Mr Domenic (Mick) Gatto to the SDU regarding his associate, Mr Faruk Orman, who had just been arrested for the murder of Mr Victor Peirce.

19 July: Ms Gobbo attends an Office of Police Integrity (OPI) examination by the Honourable Gerald Edward (Tony) Fitzgerald, AC, QC regarding the leaking of information reports (IRs) that revealed Mr Terry Hodson was a human source.

17 August: Ms Gobbo attends a further examination at the OPI, where Mr Fitzgerald suggests she told ‘untruths’ at the previous hearing. She is encouraged to seek legal advice before giving further evidence. Ms Gobbo never returns to give evidence.

2008

14 January: Briars Taskforce investigators, then Detective Inspector Stephen (Steve) Waddell and then Detective Senior Sergeant Ronald (Ron) Iddles, OAM, APM interview Ms Gobbo about Mr Chartres-Abbott’s murder.

6 February: Due to mounting concerns about the number of police officers who have become aware of the identity of ‘3838’, Ms Gobbo’s human source registration number is changed to ‘11792958’ commonly shortened to ‘2958’.

26 February–5 March: Ms Gobbo is interviewed a number of times by Petra Taskforce investigators then Detective Senior Sergeant Solon (Sol) Solomon and then Detective Senior Constable Cameron Davey about the murder of the Hodsons.

16 April: Ms Gobbo’s car is set on fire. The suspect is one of her clients.

17 November: Ms Gobbo is interviewed for the fourth time by Petra Taskforce investigators after they receive information that she is in possession of false phones linked to then Detective Sergeant Paul Dale around the time of the Hodson murders.

30 November: Mr Dale calls Ms Gobbo and asks to meet. She informs the SDU and Petra Taskforce investigators.

7 December: Ms Gobbo meets Mr Dale and covertly records the meeting.

11 December: After listening to the recording, Petra investigators tell Ms Gobbo that Mr Dale cannot be charged or convicted without her evidence. She is asked to become a witness against him.

30 December: The SDU completes a ‘SWOT’ analysis assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Ms Gobbo becoming a witness for Petra Taskforce against Mr Dale.

2009

7 January: Ms Gobbo signs her witness statement in relation to Mr Dale.

13 January: Ms Gobbo is deregistered as a human source.

13 February: Mr Dale and Mr Rodney Collins are charged with the Hodson murders.

25–27 May: Mr Waddell and Mr Iddles travel to Bali to take a statement from Ms Gobbo regarding the Chartres-Abbott murder. That statement is never signed as Mr Waddell and Mr Iddles become concerned about the implications of Ms Gobbo giving evidence.

The Source Development Unit

Human source management reform and the establishment of a dedicated source unit

As indicated above, serious corruption within the Drug Squad was identified in late 2000.232 A review of the Drug Squad, the Purton Review, recommended reform of human source management processes.

As part of these reforms, on 27 July 2003, Victoria Police initiated a project, Review and Develop Best Practice Human Source Management Policy. A recommendation of that project led to a trial of a new unit, known initially as the DSU and later the SDU. After the pilot program was completed, the SDU was established on a permanent basis.233

Part of the SDU's purpose was to identify, recruit and register high-risk human sources.234 It was envisaged that members of this unit, known as handlers and controllers, would recruit these sources and obtain information from them.235 For the first time, investigators would be separated from contact with and the management of human sources, a concept known as the ‘sterile corridor’, largely to better protect the human source.236

Other reforms involved establishing ‘clearly defined procedures’ to better manage interactions with police officers and human sources.237 Reports prepared by the SDU included:

  • An Informer Contact Report (ICR) that was prepared after a handler communicated (either by phone, email or in person) with a human source.
  • An IR that was prepared from records of physical meetings and the ICR, extracting usable intelligence that was then assessed and disseminated to investigators.238 These reports were ‘sanitised’ so that the provenance of the information, including the identity of the human source, was completely removed from the documents.239

A Source Management Log (SML), also known as a ‘Controller’s Log’, was kept by the controller and summarised a human source’s activities, as well as the supervision and management protocols in relation to that source.240

First meeting with the handlers

On 8 September 2005, Mr Rowe attended a meeting with then Detective Acting Superintendent Robert Hill, Mr White, Mr Mansell and other SDU officers.241 Mr Rowe’s diary records that the outcome of the meeting was that the SDU was to meet with Ms Gobbo and assess her suitability as a human source.242

On 16 September 2005, Mr Rowe and Mr Mansell collected Ms Gobbo and took her to a private meeting room where she met with officers from the SDU for the first time. Officer Peter Smith (a pseudonym) wrote an ICR that summarised the meeting.243 The matters they discussed in this meeting are outlined below. This meeting was also recorded, despite Mr White assuring Ms Gobbo that it would not be.244

Ms Gobbo raised concerns that, if revealed as a human source, she would be ‘judged as a lawyer, not just as a person assisting police’.245 She said her motivation for becoming a human source was that she ‘had had enough of [the] stressful lifestyle dealing with [those] people’ and she did not ‘know a way out’, including how to get out of her arrangement with the Mokbels.246

Ms Gobbo referred to her 2004 stroke, describing it as a ‘very big scare’. She added that she had initially changed her lifestyle but had since ‘slipped’ into a worse one and now wanted to stop. She believed if the Mokbels were arrested and jailed, she could escape their clutches.247

When discussing Ms Gobbo’s clients and associates, Mr White made no secret of the SDU’s eagerness to obtain intelligence regarding the Mokbels. He began with, ‘Tell us everything you know about Tony Mokbel’.248 She replied, ‘How many weeks have you got?’.249

During this meeting, Ms Gobbo discussed Mr Mokbel and his associates, including Mr Bickley and Mr Cooper (a pseudonym) at length.250

She referred to ‘a client’ who ultimately became an important prosecution witness and said that she checked this person’s statement and edited it before the witness signed it. Ms Gobbo said she would be in serious trouble if people like the Mokbels found out.251 She also said that the stress of this contributed to her stroke.252

Her handler commented in the ICR that his ‘initial impression is that, at the very least, this [human source] can definitely be of high value in relation to current intelligence on Mokbel family and associates’.253

In her evidence to the Commission, Ms Gobbo said she formed the belief that, if she did not cooperate with police, she would be charged with something.254 She added that she felt as though she ‘couldn’t walk away or would have difficulty walking away’, and that if she did walk away, she was scared of what might happen if she did not meet their expectations.255

Four face-to-face assessment meetings took place between Ms Gobbo and the SDU between September and November 2005, when she was registered as a human source with the number ‘21803838’, commonly shortened to ‘3838’.256

Risk assessment

On 15 November 2005, her handler drafted a risk assessment of Ms Gobbo. At that time, Victoria Police policy for registering a human source required such an assessment.257 The risk to her was rated as ‘high’ with a number of specified risks identified, including that she:

  • was a criminal defence barrister, and well known in the legal fraternity
  • was acting for several members of the Mokbel criminal syndicate
  • had previously spoken to other police officers, including the MDID and the Purana Taskforce.258

The risk to Victoria Police was also considered ‘high’, in particular because of her ‘occupation and particular position’. The assessment noted, ‘If compromised, the handling of this Source would come under extreme scrutiny’, which could ultimately ‘cause embarrassment and criticism of the Force’.259

The following description in that risk assessment was assessed as a ‘moderate’ risk:

Within a short time, the Source has provided credible and valuable intelligence to police. The Source is well positioned to obtain tactically viable intelligence in relation to the criminal activities of the MOKBEL cartel. Intelligence supplied by the Source is considered accurate, however, on occasion the information may be obtained via third parties who may not be directly involved in the matters reported on. This may cause concern regarding the accuracy of information supplied.260

The risk to public harm was also thought ‘moderate’:

The Source displays to Handlers a high degree of a feeling of moral duty to uphold the law. Whereas this position must be constantly [scrutinised], it appears unlikely that the Source would be openly involved in activities that would have a negative impact on her position, and thus the general community.261

On 23 November 2005, Mr Black (a pseudonym), who was acting as Ms Gobbo’s controller at the time, completed the risk assessment with the overall risk assessed as ‘high’.262 He noted, however, that her effective use had the ‘potential to impede major crime and reduce the illicit drug trade and that failure to use Ms Gobbo would have the opposite effect’.263 He recommended that the SDU manage Ms Gobbo as a human source.

Victoria Police’s approach to managing Ms Gobbo

During the SDU’s early management of Ms Gobbo as a human source, she had one dedicated source handler.264 Over time, it became apparent that she was a ‘labour intensive’ human source; it was an ‘immensely challenging undertaking’ to manage her; and too much work for one handler to manage alone.265

Consequently, Mr White determined that a number of handlers would have responsibility for Ms Gobbo on a rotating basis.266 In all, Ms Gobbo had six handlers.267 This was primarily due to the number of contacts between the handlers and Ms Gobbo.268 She interacted with them almost daily, often phoning them many times a day.269 On occasions she contacted them more than 15 times in one day.270 These calls were not just during regular working hours but often late at night and on public holidays and weekends.271 The handlers also met with Ms Gobbo face-to-face, often for meetings lasting more than five hours.272

The topics covered during these conversations were wide-ranging. As well as discussing the activities of her clients and other associates, Ms Gobbo regularly discussed her health and general wellbeing, including her mental health, the stress and pressure she was under, and her various physical ailments.

Ms Gobbo did not like her handlers to rotate. She described it as ‘frustrating … to change from one person to someone else and to be repeating myself’.273

Information provided by Ms Gobbo and Victoria Police records

During her meetings and calls with handlers, Ms Gobbo provided a significant amount of information, which her handlers recorded. Between 16 September 2005 and 13 January 2009, 172 ICRs were generated by the SDU. The information she provided to Victoria Police also resulted in the compilation of 517 IRs, which were disseminated to various parts of Victoria Police, including the Purana Taskforce, the ESD and the MDID. Additionally, information was disseminated verbally to investigators such as Mr O’Brien, with some of those conversations recorded in diaries. The Commission has been unable to ascertain the precise number of these verbal disseminations.

Due to the large volume of information Ms Gobbo provided, the handlers fell behind in their record keeping, including ICRs and official diaries.274 Often, they wrote notes and summaries of meetings months after they occurred.275 Ms Gobbo disputed the accuracy of some ICRs and diaries when shown them by the Commission.276

The evidence before the Commission suggests that she provided her handlers with information relating to approximately 520 people mentioned in the SDU documents produced during this period.277

The intelligence Ms Gobbo provided to Victoria Police related to both her social relationships and her client relationships, and the line between these relationships was blurred. In his evidence to the Commission, Mr White said that Ms Gobbo was valuable as a human source as she had a huge social network of individuals involved in organised crime about whom she could provide intelligence.278

The SDU was not aware of all of Ms Gobbo’s clients, although she would on occasion tell them for whom she was acting.279 In his evidence to the Commission, Mr White said that it became apparent as time progressed that Ms Gobbo was providing information about her clients and SDU officers told her on ‘numerous occasions’ that they did not want any information that could be privileged.280 He considered any conflict of interest issues to be Ms Gobbo’s own responsibility to manage.281 He conceded that it would have been beneficial to have kept a list of those for whom she was acting.282

Ms Gobbo’s handlers tasked her to further her social relationships with clients in order to gather more intelligence about their activities.283 She also took it upon herself to develop these relationships and offered ways to elicit information for Victoria Police. For example, Ms Gobbo offered to handle the RSVP list for the party of Mr Cooper, who was a well-known associate of the Mokbels, and to take photos at the event in order to collect contact details and images of people of interest to police.284

Over the period that Ms Gobbo was registered as a human source with the SDU, she was acting for, and providing information about, individuals under investigation by several Victoria Police taskforces, including Purana, Petra and Briars.

Ms Gobbo’s handlers routinely asked her to provide information about her clients’ car registrations, phone numbers, addresses, nicknames and financial affairs. She was regularly tasked by handlers to ascertain the movements of her clients, including Mr Mokbel and Mr Karam.285

She also provided significant information that related to operations targeting Mr Mokbel’s criminal enterprise from his associates, such as Mr Thomas, Mr Cooper and Mr Karam. During one of her early meetings with the SDU on 22 September 2005, she told them that Mr Thomas and Mr Cooper would both have sufficient information about Mr Mokbel to put him away for a long time.286

Ms Gobbo’s informing on her clients

By 2006, Ms Gobbo had provided significant information to Victoria Police about individuals involved in criminal activity, which resulted in several arrests.

During conversations with her handlers, Ms Gobbo provided wide-ranging information about:

  • the criminal activities of her clients
  • how Victoria Police could encourage her clients to roll and cooperate with police
  • defence tactics she proposed using in relation to her clients
  • the relative strengths of her clients’ cases
  • the mobile phone numbers and vehicles of targets, including those of her clients
  • addresses that targets, including clients, were known to frequent
  • code names
  • code words used in communication.287

The specifics of Ms Gobbo’s informing are detailed in Chapter 7. The following summaries of notable case studies are set out below to illustrate Ms Gobbo’s most significant period of informing on clients.

Mr Cooper (a pseudonym)

Mr Cooper was a client of Ms Gobbo between 2002 and 2007. He was a key target of Victoria Police due to his close business association with Mr Mokbel.

After Ms Gobbo’s early indications that she could provide information about Mr Cooper and his activities, the SDU tasked her to do so. Ms Gobbo said that, with the SDU’s encouragement, she spent more time with Mr Cooper and they developed a social relationship.288 She frequently met him for dinner.289 He said that he believed that she was his ‘best friend’.290 Ms Gobbo said that over time they began discussing his criminal activities.291

Around Christmas 2005, Ms Gobbo told the SDU that she thought Mr Cooper was manufacturing amphetamine or was about to start production.292 In early 2006, Ms Gobbo provided her handlers with information regarding his activities sourcing precursor chemicals and manufacturing amphetamine.293 On 16 March 2006, Ms Gobbo gave her handler the approximate location of his laboratory.294

In early 2006, as Victoria Police investigated Mr Cooper, Ms Gobbo provided the SDU with advice about how police could encourage him to roll on others in the Mokbel criminal enterprise.295 She discussed targeting him financially and using his fear of the Mokbels as leverage.296 She also advised on how to achieve his cooperation, on which officers he preferred, and that she believed he would listen to her advice once arrested.297

Prior to Mr Cooper’s arrest, Ms Gobbo told SDU officers she planned to attend the police station on the night of his arrest.298 The SDU attempted to dissuade her.299 When Mr Cooper was arrested, as expected he asked for Ms Gobbo to attend his police interview as his legal adviser. Ms Gobbo obliged. She advised him that it was in his interests to assist police.300

Mr Cooper went on to cooperate with Victoria Police and make statements against other members of the Mokbel syndicate. He was ultimately sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of seven years.

Mr Tony Mokbel

Mr Mokbel was one of Ms Gobbo’s most high-profile clients. By early 2002, Ms Gobbo was acting for him.301 According to Ms Gobbo, her motivation to become a human source was to rid herself of ‘the Mokbel cartel’ as ‘she was frustrated at the Mokbels’ capacity to use lawyers to control others around them’302 and ‘sickened [by] the amount of crime they were getting away with’.303

As noted above, Mr Mokbel was a primary target for the Purana Taskforce and, consequently, a key individual about whom the SDU wanted intelligence from Ms Gobbo. She delivered in spades, providing a wealth of information about him, his family and his associates.

In December 2005, Mr Mokbel was on trial for narcotics offences in relation to Operation Plutonium. Ms Gobbo was acting as junior counsel. She provided information to the SDU about the strength of the case, including her opinion that he had ‘no defence’ and that his senior counsel wanted him to plead guilty but he was ‘too stubborn’.304 During the trial, Ms Gobbo continued to provide information to the SDU concerning defence tactics, including the names of possible defence witnesses from whom she had taken statements and the likelihood of Mr Mokbel giving evidence in the trial.305 She also provided information as to Mr Mokbel’s views about his jury and the fact that he did not want its composition to change.306

On 17 March 2006, Ms Gobbo told her handlers that she suspected Mr Mokbel was planning some ‘unknown criminality’, as he had asked her twice not to contact him that weekend.307

Soon after, Mr Mokbel absconded and was convicted in his absence.308 After he was later captured in Greece, Ms Gobbo also provided information to Victoria Police on strategies he was employing to challenge extradition and to defend and delay those proceedings.309

On 3 July 2012, Mr Mokbel was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 22 years.310 In 2017, Mr Mokbel launched an appeal against his conviction, citing Ms Gobbo’s involvement with police.

Mr Rob Karam

Another notable example of the intelligence provided by Ms Gobbo related to Mr Karam, an associate of Mr Mokbel who was charged with large-scale drug importations. On 5 June 2007, Ms Gobbo sent a message to her SDU handlers, advising them that Mr Karam had asked her to hold documents for safekeeping.311

At a meeting later that night, she provided the photocopied documents to the SDU and said that they ‘relate to shipping containers being imported’ by an associate of Mr Karam.312

Later, she helped the SDU translate one of the documents, a bill of lading, from Italian into English.313 She noted that it referred to the importation of tinned tomatoes from Italy and listed shipment details such as the ship name, container number, port of origin and departure date.314

Inside those cans of tomatoes authorities later uncovered what was then the world’s largest seizure of ecstasy. Mr Karam was convicted after a trial. In 2016, Mr Karam launched an appeal against his conviction, citing Ms Gobbo’s involvement with police.315

Mr Thomas (a pseudonym)

Mr Thomas was an associate of the Mokbels’ and Williams’ crime syndicates. Ms Gobbo acted for him on multiple occasions between 2002 and 2008.

On 16 August 2004, he was arrested and charged with the murders of Mr Barbaro and Mr Moran.316 Mr McGrath, a co-accused in the murders and a client of Ms Gobbo, made statements implicating Mr Thomas and agreed to give evidence against him.317

On several occasions, Ms Gobbo discussed Mr Thomas’ legal position, and her strategies to encourage him to assist police, with her handlers.318

Following lengthy negotiations, Mr Thomas entered into a formal agreement with police to cooperate and assist the authorities, in exchange for the prosecution pursuing only one charge of murder against him and submitting that he should receive a discounted sentence.319 He was convicted of the murder of Mr Moran and sentenced to 23 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12 years.320

Mr Thomas then gave statements to police implicating several people in criminal activities.321

Mr Faruk Orman

Mr Faruk Orman was a close associate of Mr Domenic (Mick) Gatto. In her evidence to the Commission, Ms Gobbo said that she knew Victoria Police had a plan to identify those in Mr Gatto’s circle who they might turn into a human source, settling on Mr Orman.322

Ms Gobbo represented Mr Orman after he was charged with the murder of Mr Victor Peirce. Mr Thomas, whom Ms Gobbo had previously represented, was a key witness against Mr Orman, and the case against him substantially depended on Mr Thomas’ testimony.323 Unknown to Mr Orman, Ms Gobbo encouraged Mr Thomas to give evidence against Mr Orman.324

Mr Orman pleaded not guilty but was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 14 years. In 2010 and 2011, he unsuccessfully appealed to the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia.

In February 2019, after the public revelation the previous year of Ms Gobbo as a human source (described further below), Mr Orman filed a petition of mercy with the Victorian Attorney-General, who referred the matter to the Court of Appeal. In July 2019, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) conceded that the circumstances amounted to a substantial miscarriage of justice, and that the conviction should be set aside.

On 26 July 2019, the Court allowed Mr Orman’s appeal and acquitted him.

Victoria Police concerns regarding Ms Gobbo as a human source

Reward application

In January and February 2006, Ms Gobbo incurred three speeding tickets.325 She asked the SDU to pay them. On 17 March 2006, her handler said that this might cause her role as a human source to be exposed.326 Ms Gobbo said her main concern was that she had recently accrued a large number of demerit points and was close to having her licence suspended.327 On 28 March 2006, SDU officers prepared a reward application to have the fines withdrawn.328

The application outlined the assistance Ms Gobbo provided, referring to her registration number ‘3838’ and her name. It also noted that she was supplying extremely valuable information in relation to the Purana Taskforce and Operation Posse.329 The application was given to Superintendent Mark Porter as the Local Informer Registrar, the Human Source Management Unit (HSMU) and then the Human Source Rewards Committee, which approved payments for expenses and rewards in relation to human sources.330

On 26 April 2006, the Victoria Police Payments Committee, consisting of Mr Simon Overland, APM then Commander Dannye Moloney and then Detective Superintendent Blayney, met regarding the application.331 On 27 April 2006, the SDU told Ms Gobbo that the speeding fines had been withdrawn but that this would not occur again.332 The application was formally approved on 12 May 2006.333

Another assessment and an audit of Ms Gobbo

After the arrests of Mr Cooper and others in April 2006, serious concerns emerged within Victoria Police about the potential revelation of Ms Gobbo’s identity and her safety. Court proceedings were underway against several individuals about whom she had provided intelligence and the Office of Police Integrity (OPI) was seeking to examine her.

On or around 19 April 2006, Mr Moloney directed then Superintendent Anthony (Tony) Biggin to conduct an audit of the SDU’s human source records relating to Ms Gobbo.334 Mr Biggin told the Commission that the audit was a ‘broad overviewing audit’ rather than an in-depth one.335

On 26 April 2006, the day before the audit was to take place, her handler prepared a second risk assessment, which updated the initial risk assessment of 15 November 2005.336 This was prepared because further information was identified as escalating the risk of Ms Gobbo being compromised. The new risks included that she had informed against a number of people who could pose a risk to her, that she had assisted a number of ‘high level criminals’ in cooperating with police and that her phone was being intercepted by another agency.337 Mr White determined that the risk to Ms Gobbo was still high but that she remained ‘strategically and tactically viable’.338

Mr Biggin undertook the audit on 27 April 2006.339 He attended the SDU, and spoke to Mr White and some of the handlers.340 In completing his audit, Mr Biggin noted in his diary ‘no issues identified’.341 He prepared a report in the form of an Issue Cover Sheet, which examined compliance with human source policy, provided a risk assessment and made general observations before providing a recommendation in relation to Ms Gobbo’s continued use by Victoria Police.342 Mr Biggin reported that Ms Gobbo was a ‘valuable asset’ to Victoria Police, and that the relationship should continue. He also recommended that the SDU continue to manage Ms Gobbo.343

Meetings about the termination process

On 17 May 2006, Mr Overland and SDU officers met about the need to develop an ‘exit strategy’ for Ms Gobbo.344 Mr White told the Commission that the SDU considered that it had a continuing ‘duty of care’ to Ms Gobbo and her safety and welfare.345

Ms Gobbo’s potential exposure was a growing concern for the SDU.346 They put her into ‘caretaker mode’ or ‘babysitting mode’.347 They told her that they did not want further information, and that if she provided it, they would not act on it.348

Despite having discussions about terminating Ms Gobbo’s use as a human source, the SDU continued to receive a significant amount of information from her.349

The SDU also became aware that the OPI were considering examining her in Operation Khadi. The examination related to alleged corruption of a police officer, Mr John Brown (a pseudonym). Ms Gobbo was linked to this operation as she was representing and associating socially with Mr Ahmed, who Mr John Brown had arrested. Ms Gobbo had told a prosecutor that Mr John Brown had stolen $5,000 from Mr Ahmed’s car on the night of his arrest.350 She later told her handlers about the allegation.351

On 24 July 2006, Mr Swindells and then Detective Inspector Lindsay Attrill of the ESD visited Ms Gobbo regarding her allegations.352 Ms Gobbo raised concerns about subpoenas being issued, and about being called to give evidence at the OPI.353 She contacted her handler after this meeting in a distressed state, telling him that it appeared her role as a human source was more widely known than she had thought.354 The handler told her that the SDU were attempting to ‘head off’ any OPI hearing.355

On 28 July 2006, her handlers said that she was no longer to be involved in the Operation Khadi investigation. They told her that no statement would be taken, and that she would not be brought before the OPI.356

‘Babysitting’ Ms Gobbo

Early in 2007, the SDU held further discussions, internally and with other Victoria Police officers about winding down the use of Ms Gobbo as a human source. For example, officers Mr White and Mr Ryan spoke about ‘easing her out of the picture’.357

In his evidence to the Commission, Officer Fox (a pseudonym), who took over as Ms Gobbo’s handler in June 2007, said that part of his brief was to assist in ending her relationship with Victoria Police.358

Mr Fox gave evidence to the Commission that, at this time, the SDU’s intention was not to task Ms Gobbo to provide information that investigators could use.359 She would continue to pass on information she heard in her ‘social circle’.360 That information was risk assessed by the SDU before it was released. Mr Fox told the Commission that if that information came from Ms Gobbo’s professional relationships, it was not released.361

Notwithstanding this evidence, it is apparent that the SDU did task Ms Gobbo on a number of occasions in relation to the Briars Taskforce (discussed further below).362

By early 2007, Ms Gobbo was expressing frustration to her SDU handlers about not being tasked.363 She continued to volunteer intelligence to them, including significant intelligence that they felt they could not ignore.364

On 2 May 2007, she attended a dinner with officers Mr O’Brien, Mr White, Mr Green and Officer Anderson (a pseudonym) at the Sebel Heritage Golf Course.365 Mr O’Brien presented her with a silver pen. The dinner and pen were intended as a gesture to thank her for the assistance she had provided to the Purana Taskforce and to be part of the process of ‘winding down’ her role as a human source.366

On 4 May 2007, Mr White met with a psychologist who the SDU had arranged for Ms Gobbo. They discussed Ms Gobbo’s ‘exit strategy’, noting the ‘hole’ that would be left in her life should her contact with police cease.367

In June 2007, Ms Gobbo told her handler that she wanted to end her relationship with the SDU.368 She said that she had spent the previous night vomiting and considered this to be an internal reaction to her stress.369

Threats to Ms Gobbo

Throughout 2006 and 2007, Ms Gobbo told Victoria Police she was receiving threatening text messages. In response, the Purana Taskforce established Operation Gosford.

On 6 February 2008, Ms Gobbo’s human source number was changed to ‘11792958’, commonly shortened to ‘2958’. This change was because many police officers knew she was human source ‘3838’ and there was a risk her identity could be revealed through ‘loose conversation’.370

On 16 April 2008, Ms Gobbo’s car was set on fire in Clarendon Street, South Melbourne. The suspect was a client.371 Subsequently, other barristers at her chambers raised concerns about her inappropriate personal and professional relationships with her clients, other barristers’ clients and police officers.372 Later in 2008, Ms Gobbo was asked to leave those chambers.373

Ms Gobbo continued to receive threats to her life in 2009. For example, on 26 May 2009, she received several death threats via text message.374

Ms Gobbo’s road to becoming a witness

In March 2007, two joint Victoria Police and OPI taskforces were established.

  • The Briars Taskforce sought to investigate the unsolved murder of Mr Chartres-Abbott, referred to in media reports as the ‘vampire gigolo’. Mr Overland established this taskforce as a joint investigation between the ESD and OPI. The Board of Management included then Assistant Commissioner Thomas (Luke) Cornelius, APM of the ESD, Mr Overland and Mr Graham Ashton, AM, APM, as then Assistant Director of the OPI.375 Superintendent Rodney (Rod) Wilson led the Briars Taskforce.376
  • The Petra Taskforce sought to investigate the unsolved murders of Mr Terry Hodson and his wife Mrs Christine Hodson.377 Mr Overland led the Board of Management, which also included Mr Cornelius and Mr Ashton.378 Mr Ryan headed the Petra Taskforce.379

It became apparent to investigators that Ms Gobbo had highly valuable connections and information relevant to both taskforces.380

Discussions about Ms Gobbo’s future

On 6 August 2007, Mr Overland, Mr Biggin, Mr White, Mr Blayney and Mr Ryan attended a meeting to discuss Ms Gobbo’s role. Mr White recorded in his diary that Mr Overland was told of discussions about three options for Ms Gobbo’s ongoing management:

  • deactivate her as a human source
  • use her as a witness
  • continue to manage her as a human source, but not task her.381

Mr White recorded that the meeting attendees discussed the difficulty of deactivating Ms Gobbo as a human source because of the need to communicate with her during the court proceedings for those on whom she had informed.382 He also noted that she could not be a witness, as this would compromise her status as a human source.383

The meeting attendees determined that they would continue to manage Ms Gobbo as a human source with no tasking and that Mr Biggin would conduct a risk assessment of any intelligence she provided prior to police acting on or disseminating that intelligence.384

In his evidence to the Commission, Mr Overland could not recall this meeting, but said he expected that if the handlers had concerns about the use of Ms Gobbo, they would have raised those concerns.385

Briars Taskforce

Ms Gobbo was on the radar of the Briars Taskforce as she was identified on telephone intercepts of a person of interest in the investigation, former Victoria Police officer Mr David Waters.386

Notwithstanding that Ms Gobbo was in ‘babysitting mode’ and not to be tasked at this time, her connection to Mr Waters was not lost upon investigators.387 She was linked to him through her friendship with Mr Campbell, and had associated with Mr Waters at various places.388 She had also represented Mr Waters in a previous matter.389 Mr White and Briars Taskforce investigator Mr Iddles discussed the viability of tasking her.390

Subsequently, Ms Gobbo was tasked to obtain information from Mr Waters and reported some conversations to her handlers.391

By the end of October 2007, Ms Gobbo knew that Mr Waters was considering engaging her as his lawyer.392 On 29 October 2007, she reported to her handler that Mr Waters had discussed aspects of the investigation with her, including that his solicitor had told him that then Detective Senior Sergeant Ronald (Ron) Iddles, OAM, APM wanted to interview him and that if interviewed, he might read out a statement and not answer questions.393

On 7 November 2007, Mr Waters sent Ms Gobbo an email, with the subject line ‘confidential’, attaching the statement that he proposed to read in his record of interview.394 That day, Ms Gobbo told her handlers that, in her opinion, the statement was not detailed enough and that she had advised Mr Waters of this. She said she understood she was not to assist Mr Waters to write the statement. This information was provided to Mr Iddles.395

On 14 January 2008, Briars Taskforce investigators then Detective Inspector Stephen (Steve) Waddell and Mr Iddles visited Ms Gobbo in her chambers, where they interviewed her about the murder of Mr Chartres-Abbott. She provided details about matters relevant to the investigation.396 They later determined that, given her knowledge, they should get a statement from her.397 That was not done until 2009, and is described in further detail below.

Petra Taskforce

The Petra Taskforce investigation gained momentum when Mr Carl Williams began assisting police in relation to the Hodson murders. This worried Ms Gobbo. In early 2007, she told her handlers she was concerned that Mr Williams might ‘set her up’ or implicate her in criminal activity.398

Mr Williams later made a statement that implicated Mr Dale and referred to Ms Gobbo acting as a conduit between him and Mr Dale, passing messages and setting up meetings.399 Ms Gobbo became a person of interest in the investigation as Petra Taskforce investigators considered that she could corroborate Mr Williams’ allegations, including that Mr Dale had contacted him to secure a hitman to murder Mr Terry Hodson.400

On 9 May 2007, Ms Gobbo left a message for her handler to the effect that she had discovered that Mr Williams had made a statement naming her as an associate of Mr Dale. She said that the handlers, who were supposed to be looking out for her, failed to tell her this.401

Initial interviews with the Petra Taskforce investigators

In 2008, Mr Solomon and Mr Davey from Petra Taskforce interviewed Ms Gobbo about the Hodson murders.402 Neither officer knew she was a human source assisting Victoria Police.403

The first formal interview occurred on 26 February 2008.404

The interview was not completed that day, and continued on 28 February 2008.405 On 5 March 2008, she took part in another interview.406

Office of Police Integrity examinations in relation to the Hodson murders

In July and August 2007, Ms Gobbo was called to an OPI hearing relating to the Hodson murders.407 The purpose was to question Ms Gobbo about her knowledge of the leaked IR that identified Mr Hodson as a human source (also known as ‘IR44’), and the allegation that she was a conduit between Mr Mokbel, Mr Williams and Mr Dale in relation to the leaking of that IR. Those examinations were undertaken by the Honourable Gerald Edward (Tony) Fitzgerald, AC, QC assisted by barrister, Mr Garry Livermore.408

In the lead up to the examinations, on 17 July 2007, SDU officers met with Ms Gobbo and discussed her options in relation to answering questions at the hearing that could reveal she was a human source.409 They determined that the best option would be to ‘influence’ the questions she was asked to ensure her role as a human source was not exposed.410

On 18 July 2007, her handler told Ms Gobbo that protections had been put in place to avoid her identity being revealed during the examination.411 This included that she would not be asked if she had spoken to anyone about receiving the summons to attend the OPI hearing.412 The OPI had served Ms Gobbo with a confidentiality notice, along with the witness summons. These notices provided that it was an offence to discuss the existence of the summons or the subject matter with anyone except in limited circumstances, such as to obtain legal advice.413 Her handler also told Ms Gobbo that if she felt threatened by a question, she could call a ‘time out’ and Mr Ryan, who was leading the Petra Taskforce at the time, would be there to deal with the issue.414

On 19 July 2007, Ms Gobbo attended the OPI examination.415 Mr Ryan attended but watched from a separate room.416 During a break, Ms Gobbo telephoned her handler, and again after the examination. She expressed her unhappiness with the line of questioning, complaining that the questions were open-ended and risked exposing her role as a human source.417

Ms Gobbo was called to another OPI hearing on 17 August 2007.418 Mr Ryan was again present in a separate room.419 At the outset of the hearing, Mr Fitzgerald told her that he believed she had not told the whole truth in her previous examination and had in fact told some ‘untruths’.420 Mr Fitzgerald and Mr Livermore both questioned Ms Gobbo about whether she had spoken to anyone else about her previous attendance at the OPI hearing.421 Ms Gobbo told them that she did not think she could answer.422 She then requested and was granted a break.

During that break, she spoke to Mr Ryan, who told her to get a lawyer.423 When the hearing resumed, Ms Gobbo said that she wanted to seek legal advice. Mr Fitzgerald adjourned her evidence to allow her to do so.424 Ms Gobbo was not subsequently called back to the OPI to continue her examination.

Mr Fitzgerald, in his statement to the Commission, said he had no recollection of Ms Gobbo being a human source and that he would have remembered had he been told.425

Further interviews with Petra Taskforce investigators

On 17 November 2008, Ms Gobbo attended the Petra Taskforce offices. Investigators asked her to attend as they had information that she was in possession of ‘bodgy’ phones linked to Mr Dale around the time of the Hodson murders. After the interview, then Detective Senior Sergeant Shane O’Connell, who was by then heading the Petra Taskforce, told Mr White that Ms Gobbo had told her interviewers that she:

  • was aware of a corrupt relationship between Mr Dale and Mr Williams
  • had been a conduit between them prior to the Hodson murders
  • had used ‘bodgy phones’ to communicate with Mr Dale, who had also used ‘bodgy’ phones.426

Mr O’Connell also told Mr White that Ms Gobbo had cried and volunteered information, referred to having to ‘defend these blokes day in day out, they are morally bankrupt’, said that she was acting in a legally correct manner, that her head was full of information and asked Petra investigator Mr Davey ‘if that was you, what would you do?’.427

After the interview, Ms Gobbo told her handlers that Petra Taskforce investigators had requested a witness statement.428 In a separate conversation she told them that Petra Taskforce investigators wanted her to give evidence to corroborate Mr Williams’ assertions about his relationship with Mr Dale.429 She said that she did not want to be a witness due to concerns about her personal safety and the risk that her use as a human source would be revealed in cross-examination.430 In the ICR recording the conversation, her handler noted the potential for this to jeopardise future prosecutions and lead to claims that convictions were unsafe due to Ms Gobbo’s involvement.431

On 30 November 2008, Ms Gobbo received a call from Mr Dale, who asked her to meet. She reported this to her handlers and to Petra Taskforce investigators.432 On 3 December 2008, she met with Mr Davey and Mr O’Connell, who said that they wished to use her as a witness, both to close an evidentiary gap—the relationship between Mr Dale and Mr Williams—and because she was credible compared to Mr Williams.433

Ms Gobbo met with Mr Dale on 7 December 2008 and covertly recorded that meeting. Petra investigators determined after listening to the recording that Mr Dale had provided information that was important to the investigation.434 They formed the view that Ms Gobbo would be an integral witness in the case against Mr Dale.435

On 11 December 2008, Petra Taskforce investigators met with Ms Gobbo and told her that Mr Dale could not be charged or convicted without her evidence.436

Putting a ‘barrier/break’ in the relationship

In early December 2008, Mr Overland was considering whether Ms Gobbo should transition from a human source to a witness.437

This was a significant decision—it is only in rare circumstances that human sources are used as witnesses. That is because there are grave risks in doing so, particularly to the safety of sources: their identities can be exposed during court processes, including to those against whom they have informed.438

Mr Overland said that it was now apparent to him that Ms Gobbo could no longer be managed as a source. He considered that, if she were transitioned to a witness, she would be better protected as she could be subject to legislative and other protections, apparently a reference to the Witness Protection Act 1991 (Vic).439

The SDU had experienced difficulties in terminating Ms Gobbo’s role as a human source, due to concerns about her safety, their ongoing duty of care to her, and her continued desire to provide intelligence to them.440 Ending the relationship was difficult as, despite their efforts, she continued to engage with them.441

In his evidence to the Commission, Mr White considered that it was not the role of the SDU to manage Petra Taskforce witnesses. If the SDU continued to manage her, there was a risk of SDU officers being called to give evidence (for example, in relation to evidentiary matters) and her work as a source being revealed.442

On 5 December 2008, Mr Overland met with SDU officers to discuss Ms Gobbo assisting the Petra Taskforce, possibly as a witness.443 During this meeting, Mr White raised the SDU’s concerns about Ms Gobbo transitioning from human source to witness.444 In his evidence to the Commission, Mr White recalled Mr Overland indicating that while he understood the SDU position, Ms Gobbo was potentially useful in the very serious corruption investigation of Mr Dale.445 At this time, Mr Overland believed that she would likely enter witness protection, and would be adequately protected.446

Ms Gobbo’s SWOT analysis

The SDU continued to raise concerns about Ms Gobbo becoming a witness in the Dale prosecution.447 On 30 December 2008, Mr Moloney advised Mr Biggin that she was to sign a statement the next day.448 Mr Biggin directed Mr Black to complete a ‘strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats’ (SWOT) analysis regarding Ms Gobbo becoming a witness.449 Mr Biggin said that his aim was to create a record of having raised these issues with his superiors.450

The SWOT analysis documented substantial risks to both Ms Gobbo and Victoria Police if she were to become a witness.451 These included the exposure of her long-term relationship with Victoria Police as a human source, the possibility of an OPI or government review into the legal and ethical implications of having used a serving barrister as a human source, and the potential for prosecutions on foot to be jeopardised.452

Mr Biggin prepared and signed an Issue Cover Sheet (a Victoria Police internal briefing note), attaching the SWOT analysis, and provided it to Mr Porter, with a recommendation that it be given to Mr Moloney, who was a member of the Petra Taskforce.453 Mr Moloney noted on the Issue Cover Sheet that it was to be provided to Mr Overland for the attention of the Petra Taskforce Board of Management.454

Meetings with the Petra Taskforce about Ms Gobbo’s witness statement

On 1 and 2 January 2009, Mr Davey and Mr Solomon met with Ms Gobbo and took a statement from her, which she did not sign.455

When speaking later with her handler, she said she wanted financial compensation to become a witness, noting ‘this evidence is gold but it comes at a price’.456 She signed the statement on 7 January 2009.457

Deregistration as a human source

On 12 January 2009, Ms Gobbo met with SDU officers, telling them she had signed the statement because she ‘got all the promises’ she wanted from Mr O’Connell.458

On 13 January 2009, Ms Gobbo was deactivated as a human source and formally transitioned to her role as ‘Witness F’ in the prosecution of Mr Dale for the Hodson murders. Mr Dale was charged with the murders in February 2009.459

As Ms Gobbo had transitioned to a witness, the Petra Taskforce took over the role of managing her.460 Compared to relationships with her SDU handlers, Ms Gobbo’s relationships with Petra Taskforce handlers were more difficult. Efforts were made to convince Ms Gobbo to join the Witness Protection Program.461

Briars Taskforce: the Bali statement

The Briars Taskforce investigations had come to a standstill in late 2008 due to a lack of leads.462 In early 2009, a potential witness came forward and the taskforce was reconvened.463

Investigators from the Briars Taskforce wanted a statement from Ms Gobbo in relation to Mr Waters’ possible involvement in the murder of Mr Chartres-Abbott.464 In May 2009, Mr Iddles and Mr Waddell visited her in Bali where she was holidaying after her deregistration as a human source.465 They took that statement over several days.466

The statement was not signed, as both Mr Iddles and Mr Waddell held concerns that Ms Gobbo could not independently recall her meetings or interactions with Mr Waters without reviewing the more contemporaneous ICRs prepared by the SDU. They noticed she appeared to have changed aspects of what she told them in 2008.467 It also appeared to them that her role as a human source was likely to be exposed if the statement was used in criminal proceedings.468

2010 to 2018: Civil litigation, reviews and court proceedings

An overview of the civil litigation between Ms Gobbo and Victoria Police, the three confidential external reviews into the use of Ms Gobbo as a human source and the court proceedings that followed is outlined in Figure 6.4 and discussed further below.

Figure 6.4: Timeline of civil litigation, reviews into the use of Ms Gobbo as a human source and court proceedings, 2009 to 2018
2009

7 September: Ms Gobbo writes to then Chief Commissioner Simon Overland, APM threatening legal proceedings and noting ‘the difficulties’ that Victoria Police may encounter if her assistance to police from 2005–09 is disclosed.

28 September: Ms Gobbo writes to Mr Overland for the second time, expressing frustration at Victoria Police’s response and again notes the assistance she has given.

2010

21 January: Ms Gobbo writes to Mr Overland for the third time.

27 January: Mr Paul Dale’s lawyers serve a subpoena on Victoria Police for documents concerning Ms Gobbo and any agreement for Victoria Police to provide inducements to her to give evidence against him.

8 February: Ms Gobbo’s lawyers write to the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office regarding the subpoena and threaten legal action.

10 March: Mr Dale’s lawyer requests Ms Gobbo’s human source file from Victoria Police.

19 April: Mr Carl Williams is killed in prison after the media reported that he was assisting police in relation to gangland murders.

29 April: Ms Gobbo files proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against Victoria Police claiming that the conduct of Victoria Police for failing to keep her safe as a witness has detrimentally affected her health and ruined her career, causing her economic loss; specifically, loss of earnings as a barrister.

7 June: The charges against Mr Dale and Mr Rodney Collins are withdrawn for the Hodson murders.

11 August: Ms Gobbo reaches a settlement with Victoria Police, which includes terms that she will not be called as a witness or be contacted by Victoria Police again.

2011

15 February: Mr Dale is charged with Commonwealth offences alleging that he gave false evidence before the Australian Crime Commission in 2007 and 2008. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) wants to call Ms Gobbo as a witness.

4 October: Barrister Mr Gerard Maguire provides legal advice to Victoria Police that it may be required to disclose to Mr Dale’s lawyers material relating to Ms Gobbo’s dealings with the SDU. He also raises concerns about potential miscarriages of justice in other cases caused by Ms Gobbo informing on her clients.

Early November: The CDPP reviews documents about Ms Gobbo’s role as a human source and provides advice that Victoria Police will have to disclose documents regarding Ms Gobbo to Mr Dale.

3 November: Mr Findlay (Fin) McRae, Executive Director of Legal Services, then Assistant Commissioner Graham Ashton, AM, APM and then Acting Deputy Commissioner Timothy (Tim) Cartwright, APM meet to discuss Mr Maguire’s advice. The decisions made during this meeting result in actions such as Mr Ashton advising the CDPP that Victoria Police does not want Ms Gobbo used as a witness, the CDPP withdrawing charges against Mr Dale, and a review of Ms Gobbo’s use as a human source.

9 November: Ms Gobbo is advised she is not to be a witness in the proceedings against Mr Dale. Consequently, the CDPP withdraws a number of charges against him.

2012

19 March: Victoria Police engages former Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie, AO, APM to undertake a confidential review of its use of Ms Gobbo as a human source (Comrie Review). Superintendent Stephen (Steve) Gleeson is appointed to support Mr Comrie in his investigations.

22 June: Mr Gleeson prepares a report on issues that arose during his investigations, but were outside the scope of the terms of reference, such as the manner in which Ms Gobbo was used as a human source to inform on clients. This report is later provided to the Office of Police Integrity.

30 July: The Comrie Review makes 27 recommendations, including improved supervision and more robust risk assessment processes for high-risk human sources.

2014

31 March: The Herald Sun publishes an article entitled ‘Underworld lawyer a secret police informer’, alleging Victoria Police had recruited a lawyer to inform on gangland identities. Victoria Police obtain suppression orders to stop publication of the article. The application was withdrawn after the Herald Sun agreed to remove certain paragraphs.

1 April: Mr McRae, then Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane, Professional Standards Command and Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana, Crime Command, meet with the Commissioner of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), Mr Stephen O’Bryan, QC to notify IBAC of issues related to Ms Gobbo. Mr McRae and Mr Leane also meet with the then Director of Prosecutions, Mr John Champion, SC.

10 April: Chief Commissioner Mr Kenneth (Ken) Lay, AO writes to Mr O’Bryan requesting that IBAC takes primacy of an investigation into possible media leaks regarding Ms Gobbo and that it conducts a review of Victoria Police’s implementation of the recommendations contained in the Comrie Review.

21 May: An investigation by IBAC is commenced regarding the use of Ms Gobbo as a human source (Kellam Report).

July–October 2014: Mr Gobbo writes to senior Victoria Police officers to express her frustrations and seeks a reward for her assistance to police.

2015

6 February: The Kellam Report makes 16 recommendations and its report identifies nine individuals who had received, or possibly received, legal assistance from Ms Gobbo while she was informing on them to Victoria Police. It recommends the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) reviews the relevant cases to determine whether miscarriages of justice had occurred due to the conduct of Ms Gobbo and Victoria Police. A copy of the Kellam Report is provided to the DPP.

7 July: Ms Gobbo writes to Mr Fontana, setting out why she believes that she is entitled to a reward for her assistance to Victoria Police.

2016

5 February: The DPP delivers a report regarding affected prosecutions regarding some of the cases identified in the Kellam Report (Champion Report).

March: The DPP writes to the then Chief Commissioner Mr Ashton advising that he intends to disclose to the individuals identified in the Champion Report that their case may have been affected by the use of a lawyer as a human source.

10 June: The Chief Commissioner commences proceedings to prevent the DPP from making the disclosure to the potentially affected individuals. Ms Gobbo later joins the proceedings.

November–March: The matter is heard before Justice Ginnane in the Supreme Court of Victoria in closed court, without notice to the potentially affected individuals and suppression orders are made.

2017

June: Justice Ginnane dismisses the Supreme Court proceedings, deciding that disclosure should be made to the affected individuals. The decision is subject to a non-publication order.

September: The Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria hears the Chief Commissioner’s and Ms Gobbo’s appeals in closed court, without notice to the affected individuals and subject to suppression orders.

21 November: The Court of Appeal upholds Justice Ginnane’s decision and revokes the grant of special leave of appeal. A non-publication order is made.

2018

5 November: After granting special leave to appeal on 9 May 2018, the High Court of Australia hears the appeals of the Chief Commissioner and Ms Gobbo, again in closed court, without notice to the affected individuals and subject to suppression orders. It revokes its grants of special leave. Suppression orders are made but the parties are permitted to notify Commonwealth and Victorian Government entities.

3 December: The High Court’s reasons and orders, with Ms Gobbo’s name pseudonymised, are published but suppression orders as to Ms Gobbo’s identity as a human source remain in place.

3 December: The Victorian Premier, The Hon Daniel Andrews, MP announces he will establish a royal commission.

13 December: The Commission’s Letters Patent are issued.

Ms Gobbo tries to withdraw as a witness

Throughout the latter half of 2009, Victoria Police continued to negotiate unsuccessfully with Ms Gobbo regarding her entrance into the Witness Protection Program.469 On behalf of Victoria Police, then Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe wrote to Ms Gobbo several times about her entry into the program.470

On 7 September 2009, Ms Gobbo wrote to Mr Overland, who had become Chief Commissioner earlier that year, threatening legal proceedings. She referred to the information and assistance she had been giving to Victoria Police and stated:

I need not remind you of the difficulties that Victoria Police may encounter if some or any of my past assistance comes out in the prosecution of Dale.471

Mr Walshe responded to that letter on 14 September 2009 on behalf of Victoria Police.472

On 28 September 2009, Ms Gobbo wrote to Mr Overland for the second time expressing her disappointment in the Victoria Police response and the difficulties for the organisation if her past assistance was disclosed:

For the record I note your apology. However, the tone and content of your letter was deeply upsetting and offensive, and particularly disappointing in the context of my very lengthy period of (and continuing) unprecedented assistance given voluntarily and without reward, to your organisation.473

Negotiations between Ms Gobbo and Victoria Police continued. On 21 January 2010, Ms Gobbo wrote to Mr Overland for the third time expressing her frustrations:

As a former Deputy Commissioner for Crime, I am sure that I need not remind you of the difficulties that Victoria Police will encounter if some or any of my past assistance is disclosed in the course of the prosecution of Dale. As matters currently stand, such disclosure would appear to be inevitable. Leaving aside the impact such disclosure will have on me personally (including but not limited to my future safety), the difficulties Victoria Police will encounter will extend well beyond the obvious embarrassment and damage that will be done to the Dale prosecution.

I have for many months now repeatedly stated that the best way to avoid jeopardising the Dale prosecution is to ensure that evidentiary protections afforded under the Witness Protection Act be granted to me. It alarms me greatly that with Dale’s Committal scheduled to commence in less than 7 weeks time, and in circumstances where Dale is anticipated to serve subpoenas on Monday 25 January 2010, Victoria Police is still to determine the issue of my participation in the Witness Protection Program. I can only hope that this Issue is resolved before Dale files and serves his subpoenas, after which time it will simply be too late.

In one final attempt to avoid what I suspect will otherwise be an irreparable and intractable situation for all parties, I am imploring you to please read the enclosed correspondence, particularly in light of the incredible sacrifices I have made for Victoria Police in circumstances where I have asked for nothing other than for the organisation to honour the representations and assurances that have been made to me. Further, I beseech you to reconsider the stance that has been adopted by Victoria Police to date and do so appealing to your professionalism, decency, humanity and conscience.

Will you meet with me? 474

On 27 January 2010, Mr Dale served a subpoena on the Chief Commissioner, requiring production of documents concerning Ms Gobbo and any agreement for Victoria Police to induce her to give evidence against him.475

During this time, Ms Gobbo’s legal representatives made known to Victoria Police that they were contemplating civil action for the compensation she said had been promised.476 Ms Gobbo and her legal representatives became aware of the subpoena and that it was directed towards assistance Ms Gobbo provided to Victoria Police ‘in investigations other than that of Mr Dale’.477 Her lawyers wrote to the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office (VGSO), the legal representatives for the Chief Commissioner, on 8 February 2010. The correspondence noted that Ms Gobbo was concerned about her safety because, if Victoria Police claimed PII on the grounds of informer privilege in answer to the subpoena, this would effectively label her as a human source.478 The correspondence stated that Victoria Police would be held liable for harm, loss and damage suffered arising from the production of documents in answer to the subpoena.479

In late February 2010, Ms Gobbo’s lawyers notified the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) that she was too unwell to give evidence.480 Her legal representatives also sent a letter to the VGSO demanding that Victoria Police provide her with the compensation she had been promised.481

Mr Dale’s legal representatives continued to seek documents relevant to Ms Gobbo during this period.482 On 10 March 2010, Mr Hargreaves, Mr Dale’s solicitor, enquired about the existence of a human source file for Ms Gobbo. As Victoria Police had claimed PII in respect of some material, he had surmised from that claim that she must have been a human source.483

On 12 March 2010, Ms Gobbo’s legal representatives sought to have her excused from the witness summons due to her ill health. While refusing to set the summons aside, the magistrate adjourned her evidence until 17 June 2010.484

Murder of Mr Carl Williams

On 19 April 2010, Mr Williams was murdered in Barwon prison. Ms Gobbo subsequently offered to assist police with the investigation. She told Detective Sergeant Stuart Bailey of the Homicide Squad on several occasions that she was attempting to meet and obtain information from a third party about the Williams murder.485 Mr Bailey and other officers were concerned that this would jeopardise her safety as her identity as a human source was already at risk of exposure.486

On 7 June 2010, the charges of murder against Mr Dale and Mr Rodney Collins were formally withdrawn at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Ms Gobbo starts civil litigation against Victoria Police

On 29 April 2010, Ms Gobbo filed proceedings in the Supreme Court against the State of Victoria, Mr Overland and former Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon, APM.487 Ms Gobbo claimed that the conduct of Victoria Police had detrimentally affected her health and ruined her career, causing economic loss; specifically, loss of earnings and capacity to earn income as a barrister.488

Ms Gobbo’s claim related only to the police engagement with her as a prospective witness for the Petra Taskforce in prosecution of Mr Dale. It did not address her engagement with Victoria Police as a human source.

On 11 August 2010, Ms Gobbo signed terms of settlement with Victoria Police.489 The financial settlement only referred to Ms Gobbo’s status as a witness in the proceeding against Mr Dale and did not refer to her history as a registered human source. The settlement included a term that Victoria Police would not call Ms Gobbo to give evidence in any proceedings and officers from the Petra Taskforce would not contact her.

Despite agreeing to and signing those terms of settlement, on 12 August 2010 Ms Gobbo contacted then Detective Senior Constable Angela Hantsis:

Hi Ang, until permitted contact with me again, I just wanted to say thank you for your wise words to [Mr Cooper] who passed on your message. I’ve just been re-diagnosed with stress related cancer (reappeared since March surgery) and I intend to do as you suggested, to ‘look after myself’ I made the mistake of trusting people I respected highly stupidly thinking they actually cared. It really hurts to be used and taken advantage of especially when serious illness results. I truly thank you for your kind thoughts conveyed by [Mr Cooper] I understand that you’d be there to offer the support I so badly required if you were allowed contact.490

On 12 August 2010, Mr Overland directed that Petra Taskforce investigators were not to contact Ms Gobbo. He also directed that, if Ms Gobbo contacted officers, under no circumstances was any information, intelligence or evidence to be solicited or taken from her.491 Mr Overland said he gave this direction after he became aware that Ms Gobbo remained in contact with Victoria Police.492

On 29 August 2010, Standard Operating Procedures relating to contact with Ms Gobbo (referred to as ‘Witness F’) were issued and noted:

The following options may apply to information received from Witness F:

  • Information may not be acted on for reasons which may jeopardise Witness F safety or security, issues of identification etc will be major considerations ...
  • The SDU Detective Inspector to advise Witness F that information received may or may not be acted upon
  • Information after sanitisation may be re directed to appropriate investigative units
  • Information is not to be sourced to Witness F
  • Investigators are to be advised that information has been received from a person who cannot be identified.493

After 30 August 2010, Ms Gobbo spoke to then Detective Inspector John O’Connor, her designated point of contact at Victoria Police, on numerous occasions.494 She gave him information regarding individuals including Mr Williams.495 Then Superintendent Peter Lardner and Mr Pope, then an Assistant Commissioner, provided advice to Mr O’Connor’s immediate supervisor, then Superintendent Paul Sheridan, that information from her should be received but she was not to be tasked to follow up this information.496

Driver Taskforce and second prosecution of Mr Paul Dale

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions charges against Mr Paul Dale

Following the death of Mr Williams, Petra Taskforce was disbanded and the murder charges against Mr Dale and Mr Collins were withdrawn. The Driver Taskforce was established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Williams.

Mr Solomon had submitted a brief of evidence to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) recommending charges against Mr Dale for offences against the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth). After reviewing the brief of evidence, the CDPP indicated that they considered the case against Mr Dale to be strong, and recommended charges be brought against him.497

On 15 February 2011, Mr Dale was charged with 12 offences alleging that he gave false evidence before the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) in 2007 and 2008. Then Detective Senior Sergeant Boris Buick was the informant in relation to the charges and liaised with Ms Gobbo.

There were complications in calling Ms Gobbo as a witness in the CDPP prosecution. Agreement still had not been reached between Ms Gobbo and Victoria Police about her entering witness protection. There was also the term in the settlement agreement that Victoria Police no longer proposed to call Ms Gobbo to give evidence in any proceeding.

Problems with calling Ms Gobbo as a witness

Through his dealings with Ms Gobbo in 2011, Mr Buick was aware that the complications of calling Ms Gobbo as a witness extended beyond her involvement with Mr Dale. During their meetings, Ms Gobbo told Mr Buick about aspects of her history as a human source with the SDU, including her involvement in representing and informing on clients such as Mr Mokbel, Mr Cooper, Mr Thomas, Mr Orman and Mr Karam.

For example, on 16 February 2011, Mr Buick met with Ms Gobbo to inform her of the prosecution against Mr Dale. During the conversation she referred to Mr Orman’s case, in which Mr Buick was the informant, claiming credit for his conviction:

MS GOBBO: … The High Court matter you went up to Canberra for last week, you know how that happened.

MR BUICK: Well, I know, you’ve said that the other day. I ---

MS GOBBO: Go and ask ---

MR BUICK: I thought that was my—I thought that was my hard work.

MS GOBBO: No. You go and ask the right people Boris—it was a very well hidden thing, that’s why [Officers Sandy White, Green and Peter Smith] are exceptionally good … detectives. However, one would have thought that after you do all of that, someone shakes your hand and says, ‘Thank you’.

MR BUICK: you got … convicted for me.

MS GOBBO: You know. You don’t need me to say it for the tape.

MR BUICK: No, I was going to shake your hand if you said yes.498

The CDPP continued to seek to use Ms Gobbo as a witness in the Dale prosecution.

On 24 August 2011 during a meeting between Ms Gobbo, CDPP representatives and Mr Buick, Ms Gobbo raised matters that would make it difficult for her to give evidence. These included an oblique reference to the Tomato Tins prosecution.499 After the meeting, Ms Gobbo had a further conversation with Mr Buick:

MR BUICK: Can you just tell me, though, ’cause ---

MS GOBBO: Yeah.

MR BUICK: --- I’m not as clever as, you know, the rest of you. What’s the current prosecution that is—is the issue?

MS GOBBO: World’s biggest ever importation of ecstasy.

MR BUICK: And who’s up on that?

MS GOBBO: Higgs, Karam, Barbaro. The highest level of organised crime dealers.

MR BUICK: So they’ve all ---

MS GOBBO: Now, you—I can tell you, you—you, but the ACC, and VicPol and the AFP didn’t have a clue about that. I had the shipping documents. I got my hands on them and that’s how you found the world’s biggest ever single seizure of ecstasy in the world. Now you think I’m going to risk those people finding out—no fucking way.500

On 26 August 2011, Mr Buick spoke further with Ms Gobbo about the Tomato Tins prosecution. She explained her interaction with, and the information she provided to, the SDU during that period. She stated that Victoria Police had fed the information to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service in order for the AFP to believe it had, of its own accord, located the shipping container containing the drugs. Ms Gobbo referred to her representation of Mr Karam at the time of the importation when she was also informing against him to police. She said she would not put herself in a situation where she might be asked questions about such matters in the witness box.501

Maguire advice

Mr Buick was concerned that Ms Gobbo’s role as a human source might be exposed as a result of material produced in response to the subpoenas Mr Dale’s lawyers filed.502 On around 31 August 2011, Victoria Police obtained urgent legal advice from barrister Gerard Maguire.503 In 2009, Mr Maguire had provided advice to the Briars Taskforce regarding whether Ms Gobbo’s statement would have to be disclosed to Mr Dale during his murder trial.504 In preparing that advice, Mr Maguire was told that Ms Gobbo was a registered human source but was not given many details.505 This time Mr Maguire reviewed the SML kept by the SDU in respect of Ms Gobbo.506 On 4 October 2011 he provided his advice.507

Mr Maguire advised that Victoria Police may be required to disclose some material relating to Ms Gobbo’s dealings with the SDU to Mr Dale’s lawyers. If Victoria Police was to make a PII claim to prevent this disclosure, it could be unsuccessful. That was because, when a court determines whether a PII claim should be upheld, it will balance the competing interests of protecting a human source with the public interest in disclosing the material. This material could assist Mr Dale’s defence that he and Ms Gobbo had a lawyer-client relationship when she taped their conversation; it would affect her credit in claiming that they were not in a lawyer-client relationship.508

Mr Maguire also noted that, if disclosure was made, it was likely that Mr Dale’s lawyers would seek further material demonstrating Ms Gobbo’s informing on others for whom she was acting, such as Mr Mokbel. If these people became aware of her role as a human source, they might challenge their convictions on the basis that they were unlawfully obtained.509

Once it was confirmed that Ms Gobbo’s role would need to be disclosed to the court for the PII argument, Victoria Police took steps to withdraw Ms Gobbo as a witness in the Commonwealth trial due to the significant risk to her safety.510

Victoria Police tries to withdraw Ms Gobbo as a witness

On 21 October 2011, Mr Buick met with officers of the Driver Taskforce Steering Committee to discuss the Dale prosecution and the consequences of Ms Gobbo being called as a witness and being cross-examined.511

That afternoon, Ms Gobbo met with Mr Buick and Detective Sergeant Jason Lebusque.512

During their conversation, Mr Buick said ‘it was possible’ that Victoria Police would ask the CDPP not to proceed with the prosecution, because the examination of Ms Gobbo, or Victoria Police’s production of documents relating to her, might jeopardise other prosecutions.513

Ms Gobbo asked why this was only being considered in 2011 when she had been raising these issues for years. She continued:

… I’ve always said the problem’s going to be the police, not in terms of my safety ’cause I’ll be dead but in terms of people jumping up and down about their convictions. I’ve said that for years. But isn’t this all based on the assumption that if somebody asks me a question, it comes out?514

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions identifies issues with disclosure

In early November 2011, officers of the Driver Taskforce organised for representatives of the CDPP to review documents about Ms Gobbo’s role as a human source.515 The CDPP considered that Mr Dale was likely to mount a defence that Ms Gobbo was acting as his legal adviser at the time of the recording.516 The CDPP advised that, given this defence, the prosecution would be required to produce documents including those relating to:

  • instances where she encouraged Mr Dale or others to believe that their communications were protected by legal professional privilege
  • information indicating she was a perpetrator or party to criminal activity
  • information indicating that Ms Gobbo lied to investigators or police handlers.517

Following that advice, Mr Graham Ashton, then Assistant Commissioner, Crime, requested that the CDPP only proceed with charges that did not rely on the evidence of Ms Gobbo.518

The CDPP asked for further information, which was prepared by SDU officers on 6 November 2011.519 The document provided a brief history and scope of Ms Gobbo’s informing between 2005 and 2009 and the number of cases it could have adversely impacted.520 The document included a list of 164 criminals, solicitors or former Victoria Police officers about whom Ms Gobbo had provided information, including Mr Mokbel and his associates, Mr Karam and his associates, and Mr Orman.

Mr Graham Ashton withdraws Ms Gobbo as a witness

On 7 November 2011, Mr Sheridan provided this document outlining Ms Gobbo’s role as a human source to Mr Ashton with a cover note stating:

Exposure of Witness F activities within Victoria Police as contained within this summary will have significant impact upon Victoria Police operations, past and present.521

In his evidence to the Commission, Mr Ashton said he was ‘shocked’ when he read the document on 7 November 2011.522 After receiving it, Mr Ashton determined that it was untenable for Ms Gobbo to proceed as a witness in the Commonwealth prosecution of Mr Dale.523 The next day, Mr Ashton advised the CDPP that Ms Gobbo was to be withdrawn as a witness because there were concerns for her safety.524 The CDPP withdrew her as a witness, and a number of charges against Mr Dale that relied on her testimony were withdrawn.525

Although Ms Gobbo was informed on 9 November 2011 that she was not to be called as a witness, she continued to offer to make statements in relation to the Hodson murders, including writing to then DPP, Mr John Champion, SC.526 The initial letters in 2011 were written by Mr Alex Lewenberg, her then solicitor, and referred only to his ‘client’ without explicitly identifying Ms Gobbo.527

Mr Champion, who did not know that the ‘client’ was Ms Gobbo, exchanged several letters with Mr Lewenberg, who indicated that his client was willing to assist law enforcement authorities in relation to the Hodson murders in exchange for a reward.528 Later, in a letter dated 27 February 2012, Mr Lewenberg referred to Ms Gobbo by name.529

The Comrie Review

On 19 March 2012, Victoria Police engaged former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Neil Comrie, AO, APM, to undertake a confidential review of Victoria Police’s use of Ms Gobbo as a human source.530

The catalyst for the review had been a meeting on 3 November 2011 between Mr McRae, Mr Ashton and Mr Cartwright to discuss Mr Maguire’s recent advice.531

Mr Comrie’s report, the ‘Comrie Review’, was completed in July 2012 and identified a number of issues relating to Victoria Police’s use of Ms Gobbo as a human source, including that risk assessment processes used for Ms Gobbo were ‘grossly inadequate’, control measures were not complied with, authorisation processes were not as robust as they ought to have been, and supervision and management were unsatisfactory.532

Victoria Police started two operations as a result of the Comrie Review: Operation Loricated and Operation Bendigo. These aimed to address issues of concern arising from the Comrie Review and the use of Ms Gobbo as a human source.

After the Comrie Review, between June 2012 and 2014, Mr McRae met with the DPP a number of times to discuss Ms Gobbo and the implications arising from the information she provided to Victoria Police.533

The Comrie Review is discussed in further detail in Chapter 11.

Closure of Source Development Unit

After an internal review, Victoria Police determined in 2013 to close the SDU. In February 2013, SDU officers were informed of this decision.534

The Commission heard evidence that there were a wide range of factors involved in the decision, only one of which was the SDU’s management of Ms Gobbo.535 Victoria Police and the SDU handlers disagree as to the reasons for the closure. This matter is discussed further in Chapter 8.

‘Lawyer X’ story breaks

On 31 March 2014, the Herald Sun published an article entitled ‘Underworld Lawyer a Secret Police Informer’.536 The article alleged that Victoria Police had recruited a ‘prominent underworld lawyer’ to inform on criminal figures running Melbourne’s drug trade. It further alleged that this human source, referred to only as ‘Lawyer X’, had given Victoria Police ‘unprecedented access to information on some of Australia’s biggest drug barons and hitmen, including alleged corrupt police and others involved in Melbourne’s gangland war’.

While the article did not name Ms Gobbo, Victoria Police sought a suppression order to prevent its publication.537 Ultimately, the application was withdrawn after the Herald Sun agreed not to publish certain paragraphs of the article.538

Victoria Police had concerns for Ms Gobbo’s safety.539 It considered that the media reporting in relation to ‘Lawyer X’ was directly linked to threats subsequently made to Ms Gobbo.540 Officers from Victoria Police met with Ms Gobbo in April 2014.541 She continued to refuse to enter witness protection.542

On 1 April 2014, senior Victoria Police officers attended Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) to discuss the matters raised in the media article.543

The Kellam Report

On 10 April 2014, Victoria Police formally notified IBAC regarding the use of Ms Gobbo as a human source.544 Chief Commissioner Kenneth (Ken) Lay, AO wrote to then IBAC Commissioner Stephen O’Bryan, QC stating that he considered that an independent body should investigate the allegations of police misconduct.545

As a result, the Honourable Murray Kellam AO, QC, on behalf of IBAC, undertook a confidential inquiry into the conduct of current and former Victoria Police officers identified in the Comrie Review in relation to their management of Ms Gobbo as a human source. He examined Victoria Police’s human source management policies and practices at the time that Ms Gobbo was registered as a human source between 2005 and 2009 and also considered the cases of nine individuals who received, or possibly received, legal assistance from Ms Gobbo while she was informing on them to Victoria Police.546 All nine were convicted of serious criminal offences.

On 6 February 2015, Mr Kellam produced his report, the ‘Kellam Report’, and made 16 recommendations. He recommended that the Chief Commissioner provide a copy of the report and any relevant material to the DPP, so that they could consider whether any prosecutions that may have been obtained in breach of legal professional privilege or confidentiality had resulted in a miscarriage of justice due to the use of Ms Gobbo as a human source.547

The Kellam Report is discussed in further detail in Chapter 11.

The Champion Report

A copy of the Kellam Report was provided to then DPP, Mr Champion, to consider whether any relevant prosecutions may have been obtained in breach of legal professional privilege or confidentiality and resulted in miscarriages of justice.548

On 5 February 2016, the DPP produced his confidential report and concluded that he was obliged to disclose the possibility of miscarriages of justice to six of the nine individuals who were identified in the Kellam Report, all of whom Ms Gobbo had represented and the DPP had prosecuted.549

Court proceedings

In March 2016, Mr Champion wrote to then Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, enclosing a copy of the draft disclosure letter he intended to send to the six individuals named in the Kellam Report and one other individual whom the DPP had later identified as being potentially affected.550

Subsequently, Mr Champion corresponded a number of times with then Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton, Specialist Operations.551 Victoria Police was of the view that the disclosures proposed by the DPP, which would lead to Ms Gobbo being identified, would have ‘potentially catastrophic consequences for her safety and for the safety of her family’.552

In June 2016, the Chief Commissioner initiated proceedings in the Supreme Court to stop the DPP from making these disclosures.553 The hearings were held in closed court, without notice to the seven individuals, and were subject to suppression orders.

Ms Gobbo supported the Chief Commissioner’s attempts to stop her identity and role as a human source from being revealed. In November 2016, she filed her own proceeding to restrain the DPP from making the disclosures.554 The applications were heard together before Justice Ginnane between November 2016 and March 2017, over 18 hearing days. In June 2017, Justice Ginnane dismissed the proceedings, and issued a non-publication order over the proceedings.555

In July 2017, the Chief Commissioner and Ms Gobbo appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal, which also dismissed both appeals, again without notice to the seven individuals and with suppression orders.556

On 9 May 2018, the High Court granted special leave to appeal. It heard the appeals on 5 November 2018, without notice to the seven individuals and with suppression orders in place. In a unanimous decision, the seven members of the High Court revoked the grants of special leave. The High Court’s decision upheld the decisions of the Victorian courts permitting the DPP to make the disclosures to the seven individuals.557

The decision of the High Court was made available to Commonwealth and Victorian authorities but was not made public until 3 December 2018. Ms Gobbo’s name was suppressed by court order until 1 March 2019 following the resolution of further proceedings to protect her identity, as discussed in Chapter 1 of this final report.

The establishment of the Commission

On 3 December 2018, the day the High Court’s decision was made public, the Victorian Government announced that it would establish a royal commission to independently inquire into Victoria Police’s use of Ms Gobbo as a human source.

This Commission was formally established by Letters Patent issued by the Governor of Victoria on 13 December 2018. The establishment of the Commission and the conduct of its inquiry are discussed in Chapters 1 and 3 of this final report.

Endnotes

1 The Commission sought a statement from Mr Wilson, but he declined to provide one.

2 When individuals own property in ‘tenants in common’ arrangements, each of them owns a separate share of the property.

3 Exhibit RC0020 Statement of Mr Michael Holding, 27 March 2019, 2 [13]; Transcript of Mr Michael Holding, 29 March 2019, 536.

4 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 4 February 2020, 12999.

5 Exhibit RC0020 Statement of Mr Michael Holding, 27 March 2019, 2 [13]–[14].

6 Exhibit RC0029 Day book and diary of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 3 September 1993, 4; Exhibit RC0028 Statement of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 21 March 2019, 2 [9]; Transcript of Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Trichias, 29 March 2019, 556; Transcript of Mr Michael Holding, 29 March 2019, 537–8; Transcript of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 29 March 2019, 573.

7 Exhibit RC0029 Day book and diary of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 3 September 1993, 4.

8 Transcript of Sergeant Trevor Ashton, 29 March 2019, 576; Exhibit RC0028 Statement of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 29 March 2019, 2 [11].

9 Transcript of Sergeant Trevor Ashton, 29 March 2019, 578.

10 Transcript of Sergeant Trevor Ashton, 29 March 2019, 578.

11 Exhibit RC0021 Letter of commendation to Mr Michael Holding, 8 December 1993.

12 Exhibit RC0022 Print out of charges, 7 September 1993.

13 Exhibit RC0020 Statement of Mr Michael Holding, 29 March 2019, 2 [19].

14 Exhibit RC0020 Statement of Mr Michael Holding, 29 March 2019, 3 [21].

15 Exhibit RC0020 Statement of Mr Michael Holding, 29 March 2019, 3 [23].

16 Exhibit RC0020 Statement of Mr Michael Holding, 29 March 2019, 3 [20]; Transcript of Mr Michael Holding, 29 March 2019, 541.

17 Transcript of Mr James (Jim) O’Brien, 4 September 2019, 5562.

18 Exhibit RC0028 Statement of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 21 March 2019, 3 [19].

19 Exhibit RC0054 Statement of Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall, 27 March 2019, 3 [14].

20 Exhibit RC0052 Statement of Detective Senior Sergeant Rodney Arthur, 26 March 2019, [5], [7], 2 [9].

21 Exhibit RC0052 Statement of Detective Senior Sergeant Rodney Arthur, 26 March 2019, 2 [11].

22 Exhibit RC0052 Statement of Detective Senior Sergeant Rodney Arthur, 26 March 2019, 1 [7].

23 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 4 February 2020, 13006; Exhibit RC0030 Registration of Human Source, July 1995.

24 Exhibit RC0030 Registration of Human Source, July 1995.

25 Exhibit RC0028 Statement of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 21 March 2019, 3 [23].

26 Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 316.

27 Exhibit RC0030 Registration of Human Source, July 1995; Exhibit RC0056 Application to authorise Covert Investigation Unit, 19 February 1996, 2.

28 Exhibit RC0028 Statement of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 21 March 2019, 3 [25]; Exhibit RC0025 Statement of Mr John Gibson, 27 March 2019, 2 [9].

29 Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 317.

30 Exhibit RC0028 Statement of Inspector Trevor Ashton, 21 March 2019, 3 [24]–[27], 4 [32].

31 Police used contact reports and information reports to document their discussions with human sources and the information provided by them: Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 317.

32 Exhibit RC0070 Operation Scorn Progress Report, 22 February 1996.

33 Exhibit RC0070 Operation Scorn Progress Report, 22 February 1996.

34 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 10 [3.28].

35 Exhibit RC0019 Certificate of Admission, 7 April 1997.

36 Exhibit RC0012 Affidavit Verifying Articles, 26 February 1996.

37 Exhibit RC0015 Affidavit to the Board of Examiners, 4 February 1997, 2.

38 Exhibit RC0015 Affidavit to the Board of Examiners, 4 February 1997, 2.

39 Chris Winneke, Andrew Woods and Megan Tittensor, `Counsel Assisting submissions with respect to Terms of Reference 1 and 2', Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (26 June 2020) vol 1, 9 [44]–[45].

40 An informant is a police officer in charge of an investigation. They have a range of responsibilities including commencing proceedings against an accused person and signing the charge sheet.

41 Chris Winneke, Andrew Woods and Megan Tittensor, `Counsel Assisting submissions with respect to Terms of Reference 1 and 2', Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (26 June 2020) vol 2, 9 [46].

42 Chris Winneke, Andrew Woods and Megan Tittensor, `Counsel Assisting submissions with respect to Terms of Reference 1 and 2', Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (26 June 2020) vol 2, 9 [46].

43 Chris Winneke, Andrew Woods and Megan Tittensor, `Counsel Assisting submissions with respect to Terms of Reference 1 and 2', Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (26 June 2020) vol 2, 9 [47].

44 Chris Winneke, Andrew Woods and Megan Tittensor, `Counsel Assisting submissions with respect to Terms of Reference 1 and 2', Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (26 June 2020) vol 2, 9–10 [47]–[48].

45 Chris Winneke, Andrew Woods and Megan Tittensor, `Counsel Assisting submissions with respect to Terms of Reference 1 and 2', Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (26 June 2020) vol 2, 10 [50].

46 Exhibit RC0273 Court Book of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 26 November 1998, 22.

47 Exhibit RC1831 A Return of Prisoners Convicted at the Sittings of the County Court Held at Melbourne and Sentenced on 13 October 1999, 1; Exhibit RC1891 Transcript of Proceedings, R v Dragan Arnautovic (County Court of Victoria, Judge Crossley, 13 October 1999) 6; Victoria Police, ‘Criminal History Report for Dragan Arnautovic’, 10 December 2019, 3, produced by Victoria Police in response to a Commission Notice to Produce.

48 Exhibit RC1729 Letter from ‘Solicitor 1’ to Mr Greene, 8 December 1997, 1; Transcript of Mr Wayne Strawhorn, 30 April 2019, 1074, 1082.

49 Exhibit RC0080 Statement of Mr Wayne Strawhorn, 18 April 2019, 2–4 [11].

50 Exhibit RC0789 Transcript of conversation between Ms Gobbo and the Commission, 13 June 2019, 46; Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 4 February 2020, 13028–9.

51 Exhibit RC0083 Fax from the OPP to Mr Wayne Strawhorn enclosing letter from ‘Solicitor 1’, 17 December 1997, 4–9.

52 Exhibit RC0095 Ms Nicola Gobbo diary, 2 February 1998.

53 Exhibit RC0095 Ms Nicola Gobbo diary, 2 February 1998.

54 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 4 February 2020, 13009–12.

55 Exhibit RC0793 Letter from Australian Federal Police lawyers to Commission, 22 November 2019.

56 Exhibit RC0063 Mr Jeff Pope diary, 27 April 1999; Exhibit RC0064 Statement of Mr ‘Kruger’, 28 March 2019, 4 [24].

57 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 14 [3.53].

58 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 13 [3.52].

59 Transcript of Unnamed, 16 April 2019, 990.

60 Exhibit RC0064 Statement of Officer ‘Kruger’, 26 March 2019, 5 [28]; Exhibit RC0057 Statement of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 1 April 2019, 3 [11].

61 Exhibit RC0057 Statement of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 1 April 2019, 3 [11].

62 Exhibit RC0033 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 12 May 1999.

63 Exhibit RC0034 Informer Registration Application, 13 May 1998; Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 334.

64 Exhibit RC0035 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 28 May 1999.

65 Exhibit RC0034 Informer Registration Application, 13 May 1998.

66 Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 334.

67 Exhibit RC0032 Statement of Gavan Segrave, 22 March 2019, 5 [14]–[15].

68 Exhibit RC0037 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 28 May 1999; Exhibit RC0040 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 14 June 1999; Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 339.

69 Exhibit RC0038 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 28 May 1998.

70 Exhibit RC0038 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 28 May 1998.

71 Exhibit RC1412 Statement of ‘Member 1’, 1 May 2019, 3 [8].

72 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 11 April 2019, 889–90.

73 Exhibit RC0063 Mr Jeff Pope diary, 26 May 1999 – 7 June 1999, 5–6; Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 338.

74 Exhibit RC0039 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 14 June 1999; Exhibit RC0041 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 14 June 1999.

75 Exhibit RC0042 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 14 June 1999; Exhibit RC0043 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 14 June 1999.

76 Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 339.

77 Exhibit RC0046 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 15 June 1999; Transcript of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 2 April 2019, 779–80.

78 Transcript of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 2 April 2019, 780.

79 Exhibit RC0047 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 27 June 1999. If a restraining order is placed over a property, it will prevent the owner from selling that property.

80 Transcript of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 2 April 2019, 781–2.

81 Transcript of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 2 April 2019, 781–2.

82 Exhibit RC0049 Asset Recovery Unit Information Report, 5 October 1999.

83 Exhibit RC0057 Statement of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 1 April 2019, 5 [23]; Transcript of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 2 April 2019, 787.

84 Transcript of Mr Stephen Campbell, 21 May 2019, 2100.

85 Transcript of Mr Stephen Campbell, 21 May 2019, 2106–7.

86 Transcript of Mr Stephen Campbell, 21 May 2019, 2106.

87 Transcript of Mr Stephen Campbell, 21 May 2019, 2106–7.

88 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 11 April 2019, 948.

89 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 11 April 2019, 949.

90 Transcript of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 27 March 2019, 341.

91 Exhibit RC0050 Recommendation to reclassify Ms Nicola Gobbo inactive, 3 January 2000.

92 The Dedicated Source Unit changed its name to the Source Development Unit on 29 May 2006: Victoria Police, ‘Dedicated Source Unit Monthly Report’, May 2006, 1, produced by Victoria Police in response to a Commission Notice to Produce.

93 Exhibit RC0251 Statement of Mr Philip Swindells, 6 May 2019, 6 [32].

94 Exhibit RC0310 Statement of Mr Gavan Ryan, 13 June 2019, 3 [16].

95 Exhibit RC0310 Statement of Mr Gavan Ryan, 13 June 2019, 4 [17].

96 Exhibit RC0269 Statement of Commander Stuart Bateson, 7 May 2019, 6 [28].

97 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 16 [3.69].

98 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 12, [6].

99 Transcript of Commander Stuart Bateson, 2 July 2019, 3341, 3365.

100 Transcript of Mr Stephen Campbell, 21 May 2019, 2113.

101 Transcript of Mr Stephen Campbell, 21 May 2019, 2114–16.

102 Transcript of Mr Stephen Campbell, 21 May 2019, 2117–18, 2121.

103 Transcript of Mr Stephen Campbell, 21 May 2019, 2121.

104 Transcript of ‘Person 12’, 22 May 2019, 2156–7.

105 Exhibit RC0108 Review of the Victoria Police Drug Squad—Steering Committee Endorsed Final Report, November 2001.

106 Exhibit RC0920 Statement of Ms Christine Nixon, 30 October 2019, 6–7 [34]; Transcript of Ms Christine Nixon, 18 December 2019, 11600.

107 Transcript of Mr Peter De Santo, 9 May 2019, 1495.

108 Transcript of Mr Peter De Santo, 10 May 2019, 1543.

109 Transcript of Mr Peter De Santo, 10 May 2019, 1532.

110 Exhibit RC0154 Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 1–2 [15].

111 Exhibit RC0221 Mr Paul Dale Diary, 13 November 2002.

112 Exhibit RC0154 Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 4 [44]; Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 17 June 2019, 2371.

113 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 17 June 2019, 2372.

114 Exhibit RC0154 Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 1–2 [15].

115 Exhibit RC0154 Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 3 [36].

116 Exhibit RC0789 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 13 June 2019, 13–14.

117 Exhibit RC0154 Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 3 [38]; Exhibit RC0789 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 13 June 2019, 16–17.

118 Exhibit RC0232 Summary of Evidence OPP v Paul Dale, undated, 2–3.

119 Exhibit RC0232 Summary of Evidence OPP v Paul Dale, undated, 3.

120 Exhibit RC0154 Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 2 [18].

121 Transcript of Mr Peter De Santo, 10 May 2019, 1563; Exhibit RC0789b Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 13 June 2019, 37; Exhibit RC0105 Information Report IR088, 1 July 2004.

122 Exhibit RC0105 Information Report IR088, 1 July 2004.

123 Transcript of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 17 May 2019, 1985.

124 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 2 [13].

125 Transcript of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 17 May 2019, 1987.

126 Exhibit RC0232 Summary of Evidence OPP v Paul Dale, undated, 44; Transcript of Mr Peter De Santo, 10 May 2019, 1566.

127 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 3 [16]–[17].

128 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 3 [16]–[17].

129 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 3 [16]–[17].

130 Exhibit RC0097 Statement of Mr Peter De Santo, 7 May 2019, 11.

131 Transcript of Mr Peter De Santo, 10 May 2019, 1582–3.

132 Exhibit RC0131 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 11 August 2004, 2.

133 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 3 [20].

134 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 4 [22].

135 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 4 [23].

136 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 4 [24].

137 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 4 [26].

138 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 5 [31].

139 Exhibit RC0129 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 14 May 2019, 5 [31].

140 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 17 June 2019, 2375.

141 Exhibit RC0154b Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 6 [80].

142 Exhibit RC0154b Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 5 [63].

143 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 21 June 2019, 2740.

144 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 21 June 2019, 2771.

145 Exhibit RC0154b Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 5 [72].

146 Exhibit RC0154b Statement of Mr Paul Dale, 20 May 2019, 5 [73].

147 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 21 June 2019, 2741.

148 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 21 June 2019, 2742.

149 Ms Gobbo recorded notes of appearances and interviews with her clients in notebooks known as ‘court books’.

150 Exhibit RC0240 Ms Nicola Gobbo Court Book, 4 December 2003.

151 Exhibit RC1359 Prisoners visited by Ms Nicola Gobbo, 7 December 2003, 15.

152 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 21 June 2019, 2743.

153 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 21 June 2019, 2745.

154 Transcript of Mr Paul Dale, 21 June 2019, 2745–6.

155 Exhibit RC0241 Ms Nicola Gobbo Court Book, 14 December 2003.

156 Exhibit RC0241 Ms Nicola Gobbo Court Book, 14 December 2003.

157 Exhibit RC0131 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 11 August 2004, 4.

158 Exhibit RC0131 Statement of Mr Andrew Murray Gregor, 11 August 2004, 4.

159 Transcript of Mr Charlie Bezzina, 14 May 2019, 1638.

160 Exhibit RC0097 Statement of Mr Peter De Santo, 7 May 2019, 3 [16].

161 Exhibit RC0097 Statement of Mr Peter De Santo, 7 May 2019, 3 [16].

162 Exhibit RC0105 Information Report IR088, 1 July 2004.

163 Known as IR 44: Exhibit RC0104b Transcript of OPI proceedings interview between Mr Charlie Bezzina, Mr Cameron Davey and Ms Nicola Gobbo, 1 July 2004, 40–5.

164 Exhibit RC0104b Transcript of OPI proceedings interview between Mr Charlie Bezzina, Mr Cameron Davey and Ms Nicola Gobbo, 1 July 2004, 57.

165 Exhibit RC0102a Statement of Charlie Bezzina, 17 April 2019, 2 [9].

166 Transcript of Mr Charlie Bezzina, 14 May 2019, 1643.

167 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (017), 2 February 2006, 142; Exhibit RC0282 Transcript of conversation between Officer ‘Peter Smith’, Officer ‘Malachite’ and Ms Gobbo, 2 February 2006, 38.

168 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 12, 2 [7]; Exhibit RC1898 OPP Prism Database concerning appearances by Ms Nicola Gobbo, 21 July 2003, 37.

169 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 12, 2 [8]; Exhibit RC1798 Telephone log of Mr Thomas, 21 January 2020, 19–28; Exhibit RC0251 Statement of Mr Philip Swindells, 6 May 2019, 6 [30]; Exhibit RC0787 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 20 March 2019, 195–6.

170 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 12, 2 [8].

171 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 17 [3.78]; Exhibit RC1898 OPP Prism Database concerning appearances by Ms Nicola Gobbo, 22 September 2003, 37.

172 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 12, 2 [9]; Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 16–17 [3.75].

173 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 16–17 [3.75].

174 Transcript of Mr Philip Swindells, 27 June 2019, 3072.

175 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 12, 3 [10]–[11]; Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 17 [3.79].

176 Exhibit RC0269 Statement of Commander Stuart Bateson, 7 May 2019, 9 [51].

177 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13292.

178 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13292.

179 Transcript of Mr Simon Overland, 16 December 2019, 11334–5.

180 Transcript of Mr Philip Swindells, 27 June 2019, 3034.

181 Transcript of Mr Dannye Moloney, 20 February 2020, 14558; Exhibit RC1433 Letter from Nicola Gobbo to Stephen Fontana, 30 June 2015, 4.

182 Exhibit RC1433 Letter from Nicola Gobbo to Stephen Fontana, 30 June 2015, 4.

183 Transcript of Commander Stuart Bateson, 2 July 2019, 3388.

184 Transcript of Commander Stuart Bateson, 2 July 2019, 3388.

185 See Exhibit RC0262 Statement of Acting Inspector Mark Hatt, 17 June 2019, 3 [19]; Transcript of Commander Stuart Bateson, 2 July 2019, 3388.

186 Exhibit RC0273 Ms Nicola Gobbo Court Book, 11 July 2004, 65.

187 See Exhibit RC0262 Statement of Acting Inspector Mark Hatt, 17 June 2019, 3 [19]; Exhibit RC0269 Statement of Commander Stuart Bateson, 7 May 2019, 10 [57]; Exhibit RC0252 Purana Chronology, undated, 9.

188 Transcript of Commander Stuart Bateson, 2 July 2019, 3388. Mr McGrath's statement was signed on 13 July 2004: Exhibit RC0252 Purana Chronology, undated, 9.

189 Exhibit RC0272 Commander Stuart Bateson day book, 10 July 2004, 1; Exhibit RC0252 Purana Chronology prepared by Commander Stuart Bateson, 11 July 2004, 9.

190 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13271.

191 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13270; Transcript of Mr Gavan Ryan, 15 August 2019, 4649.

192 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13270.

193 Exhibit RC0267 Transcript of meeting between Ms Nicola Gobbo, Officer ‘Sandy White’ and Officer ‘Peter Smith’, 16 September 2005, 120; Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 12, [12].

194 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 12, [62].

195 Exhibit RC0269 Statement of Commander Stuart Bateson, 7 May 2019, 11 [68].

196 Exhibit RC0269 Statement of Commander Stuart Bateson, 7 May 2019, 11 [68].

197 Exhibit RC0269 Statement of Commander Stuart Bateson, 7 May 2019, 11 [68].

198 Exhibit RC0269 Statement of Commander Stuart Bateson, 7 May 2019, 11–12 [69]; Exhibit RC0252 Purana Chronology, undated, 18.

199 Transcript of Commander Stuart Bateson, 2 July 2019, 3340.

200 Exhibit RC0252 Purana Chronology, undated, 18–24.

201 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13301.

202 Exhibit RC0252 Purana Chronology, undated, 18–24; Exhibit RC0272 Commander Stuart Bateson diary, 29 June 2005, 33.

203 Exhibit RC0252 Purana Chronology, undated, 20; Exhibit RC0272 Mr Stuart Bateson diary, 22 May 2005, 19.

204 Exhibit RC0252 Purana Chronology, undated, 23.

205 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13295–7.

206 Exhibit RC0464 Statement of Mr James (Jim) O’Brien, 14 June 2019, 9 [40]; Transcript of Mr James (Jim) O’Brien, 3 September, 5475.

207 Exhibit RC0465 Mr James O’Brien diary, 10 August 2004.

208 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3643–5; Transcript of Mr James (Jim) O’Brien, 4 September 2019, 5485.

209 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3643.

210 Exhibit RC1162 Major Drug Investigation Division profile of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 26 August 2004, 4.

211 Exhibit RC0560d Inspector Dale Flynn diary, 15 August 2005, 4.

212 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [18]–[20]; Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13303.

213 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 2 [12].

214 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [14].

215 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [20]; Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3250.

216 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [15].

217 Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3250–1.

218 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [18].

219 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [20]; Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3252–3.

220 Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3252.

221 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [20].

222 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [20]; Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3253.

223 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [20]; Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3253.

224 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 3 [21]; Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3253.

225 Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3254.

226 Transcript of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 28 June 2019, 3254.

227 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 4–5 [27]–[29].

228 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 4–5 [27]–[29], 5 [30]–[32].

229 Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 5 [34]; Exhibit RC0933 Mr James O’Brien diary, 31 August 2005, 92.

230 Exhibit RC0464 Statement of Mr James (Jim) O’Brien, 14 June 2019, 10 [45].

231 Exhibit RC0464 Statement of Mr James (Jim) O’Brien, 14 June 2019, 10–11 [46].

232 Transcript of Ms Christine Nixon, 18 December 2019, 11576.

233 The Dedicated Source Unit changed its name to the Source Development Unit on 29 May 2006: Victoria Police, ‘Dedicated Source Unit Monthly Report’, May 2006, produced by Victoria Police in response to a Commission Notice to Produce, 1.

234 Exhibit RC0276 Review & Develop Best Practice Human Source Management Policy, 2004, 15.

235 Exhibit RC0278 Report on the Findings of Dedicated Source Unit Pilot, 1 November 2004 – 30 April 2005, 44.

236 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 46 [5.10]; Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 56, 4.

237 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 34, 11 [40].

238 Exhibit RC0275b Statement of Officer ‘Sandy White’, undated, 22 [89], 23 [94]–[95].

239 Exhibit RC0275b Statement of Officer ‘Sandy White’, undated, 23 [95].

240 Transcript of Officer ‘Black’, 14 March 2019, 46.

241 Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 8 September 2005, 1.

242 Exhibit RC1381 Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe diary, 8 September 2005; Exhibit RC0266 Statement of Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe, 25 June 2019, 6 [41].

243 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 1.

244 Exhibit RC0282 Transcript of meeting between Ms Nicola Gobbo, Officer ‘Sandy White’ and Officer ‘Peter Smith’, 16 September 2005, 12.

245 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 1.

246 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 1.

247 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 2.

248 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 1 August 2019, 3732; Exhibit RC1433 Letter from Nicola Gobbo to Stephen Fontana, 30 June 2015, 4.

249 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 3.

250 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 1–6.

251 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 2; Exhibit RC0267 Transcript of meeting between Ms Nicola Gobbo, Officer ‘Sandy White’ and Officer ‘Peter Smith’, 16 September 2005, 24.

252 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 2.

253 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (001), 16 September 2005, 6.

254 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13324.

255 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13324–5.

256 Exhibit RC0622 Statement of Officer ‘Black’, 5 June 2019, 26 [60].

257 Exhibit RC0622 Statement of Officer ‘Black’, 5 June 2019, 13–14 [49].

258 Exhibit RC0285 Risk Assessment Relating to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 15 November 2005, 1.

259 Exhibit RC0285 Risk Assessment Relating to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 15 November 2005, 6.

260 Exhibit RC0285 Risk Assessment Relating to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 15 November 2005, 4.

261 Exhibit RC0285 Risk Assessment Relating to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 15 November 2005, 6.

262 Exhibit RC0285 Risk Assessment Relating to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 15 November 2005, 7.

263 Exhibit RC0285 Risk Assessment Relating to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 15 November 2005, 7.

264 Exhibit RC0275 Statement of Officer ‘Sandy White’, undated, 19 [76].

265 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6298; Exhibit RC0275 Statement of Officer ‘Sandy White’, undated, 19 [76].

266 Exhibit RC0275 Statement of Officer ‘Sandy White’, undated, 19 [77].

267 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6298.

268 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6298.

269 Transcript of Officer ‘Peter Smith’, 11 September 2019, 6065.

270 Transcript of Officer ‘Peter Smith’, 11 September 2019, 6065.

271 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6298.

272 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6298.

273 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13329.

274 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3632.

275 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 5 February 2020, 13186.

276 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 5 February 2020, 13186; Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 7 February 2020, 13425.

277 These are in the Loricated database, which was established pursuant to one of the recommendations of the Comrie Review. This database reconstructed Ms Gobbo’s human source file.

278 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3603, 3643.

279 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 11 February 2020, 13680.

280 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3603.

281 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3614. This was echoed by Officer ‘Black’: Transcript of Officer ‘Black’, 23 October 2019, 8126.

282 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 1 August 2019, 3735.

283 See, eg, the tasking in relation to Mr Karam: Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (015), 12 January 2006, 119.

284 Exhibit RC0282 Transcript of conversation with Ms Gobbo, Officer ‘Sandy White’ and Officer ‘Peter Smith’, 6 February 2006, 146.

285 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 13 December 2019, 11232; Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 11 February 2020, 13804; Transcript of Detective Senior Constable Liza Burrows, 15 May 2019, 1855.

286 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 13 December 2019, 11232; Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 11 February 2020, 13804; Transcript of Detective Senior Constable Liza Burrows, 15 May 2019, 1855.

287 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (012), 13 December 2005, 85; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (004), 1 October 2005, 24; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (002), 21 September 2005, 9.

288 Transcript of Mr ‘Cooper’, 31 October 2019, 8686–7. See also Transcript of Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13331.

289 Transcript of Mr ‘Cooper’, 31 October 2019, 8686–7. See also Transcript of Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13331.

290 Transcript of Mr ‘Cooper’, 31 October 2019, 8687.

291 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13330–1.

292 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 21 August 2019, 5066.

293 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (015), 3 January 2006, 110; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (015), 4 January 2006, 110; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (017), 6 February 2006, 143–4.

294 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (023), 16 March 2006, 190.

295 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (028), 18 April 2006, 250.

296 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (017) 2 February 2006, 142; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (019), 22 February 2006, 161; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (028), 18 April 2006, 250.

297 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 6 February 2020, 13333; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (028), 18 April 2006, 250; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (028), 18 April 2006, 250.

298 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (028), 22 April 2006, 259–60.

299 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 5 August 2019, 3891.

300 Transcript of Inspector Dale Flynn, 30 September 2019, 6827.

301 R v Mokbel [2012] VSC 86, [74]; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (003), 26 September 2005, 14; Exhibit RC1922 Clause 1—list of persons for whom informant 3838 acted as legal representative in proceedings prosecuted by the CDPP between 1 January 1995 and 12 January 2009, undated.

302 AB & EF v CD [2017] VSC 350, [17].

303 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (014), 18 April 2008, 187.

304 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (015), 12 January 2006, 117.

305 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (019), 18 February 2006, 157; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (020), 28 February 2006, 173.

306 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (019), 23 February 2006, 164.

307 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (023), 17 March 2006, 194.

308 R v Mokbel [2006] VSC 119, [7].

309 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (082), 6 June 2007, 883; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (082), 10 June 2007, 886; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (083), 15 June 2007, 896.

310 R v A Mokbel (sentence) [2012] VSC 255.

311 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (082), 5 June 2007, 876–7; Victoria Police, ‘Audio Summary of Meeting 38’, 5 June 2007, 2 [13]–[14], produced by Victoria Police in response to a Commission Notice to Produce.

312 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (082), 5 June 2007, 876.

313 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (082), 5 June 2007, 876–7; Victoria Police, ‘Audio Summary of Meeting 38’, 5 June 2007, 2 [13]–[14], produced by Victoria Police in response to a Commission Notice to Produce.

314 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (082), 5 June 2007, 877; Victoria Police, ‘Audio Summary of Meeting 38’, 5 June 2007, 2 [13]–[14], produced by Victoria Police in response to a Commission Notice to Produce.

315 Supreme Court of Victoria, ‘Application for Leave to Appeal Against Conviction’, R v Karam, 22 July 2016, produced by the Supreme Court of Victoria in response to a Commission Notice to Produce.

316 Exhibit RC0264 Statement of Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel L’Estrange, 11 June 2019, 2 [10].

317 Transcript of Commander Stuart Bateson, 20 November 2019, 9569–70; Transcript of Mr Andrew Allen, 26 June 2019, 2975.

318 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (028), 23 April 2006, 261; Exhibit RC0282 Transcript of meeting between Ms Nicola Gobbo, Officer ‘Sandy White’, Officer ‘Peter Smith’, Officer ‘Green’, 20 April 2006, 163; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (031), 5 May 2006, 287; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (020), 24 February 2006, 165.

319 Exhibit RC0269 Statement of Commander Stuart Bateson, 7 May 2019, 15 [89]–[92].

320 Exhibit RC1746 OPP Memorandum from Mr David Bosso to Mr John Champion SC Re: Thomas, 30 August 2012, 2.

321 See, eg, Exhibit RC0650 Statement of Mr ‘Thomas’ (extract), 19 July 2006, 110; Exhibit RC0651 Statement of Mr ‘Thomas’, 2 May 2008 (extract); Exhibit RC0330 Statement of Mr ‘Thomas’, 19 July 2006.

322 Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 7 February 2020, 13469.

323 Orman v The Queen (2019) 59 VR 511, 512–3 [8] (Maxwell P, Niall and Emerton JJA).

324 Orman v The Queen (2019) 59 VR 511, 512–3 [8] (Maxwell P, Niall and Emerton JJA).

325 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (016), 23 January 2006, 129; Exhibit RC0343 Request for Informer Reward, Infringement Notices, 3 February 2006, 6–7.

326 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (023), 17 March 2006, 194.

327 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (023), 17 March 2006, 194.

328 Exhibit RC0343 Request for Informer Reward signed by Handler, Controller, Officer in Charge and Local Informant Registrar, 11 April 2006, 6–7.

329 Exhibit RC0343 Request for Informer Reward, signed 28 March 2006, 11 April 2006, 2.

330 Exhibit RC0292 Officer ‘Sandy White’ diary, 11 April 2006, 19; Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 11 April 2006, 26. The Local Informer Registrar was responsible for maintaining, managing, and auditing the local informer registration system. Mr Porter held the positions of Local Informer Registrar, and the higher rank of Central Informer Registrar when he first joined the SDU: Transcript of Mr Mark Porter, 18 September 2019, 6491.

331 Exhibit RC0818d Letter from Paul Walshe to Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby, 11 May 2006, 81; Transcript of Mr John (Jack) Blayney, 3 December 2019, 10216.

332 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (030), 27 April 2006, 274; Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 27 April 2006, 29.

333 Exhibit RC0818 Letter from Mr Paul Walshe to Mr Noel Ashby, 11 May 2006, 81–4.

334 Transcript of Mr Anthony Biggin, 9 October 2019, 7518, 7528; Exhibit RC0292 Officer ‘Sandy White’ diary, 19 April 2006, 29.

335 Transcript of Mr Anthony Biggin, 9 October 2019, 7523–4.

336 Exhibit RC0286 Informer Registration, Part C Risk Assessment, 20–26 April 2006.

337 Exhibit RC0286 Informer Registration, Part C Risk Assessment, 20–26 April 2006.

338 Exhibit RC0285b Risk Assessment Relating to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 20 April 2006, 3.

339 Transcript of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 9 October 2019, 7527.

340 Exhibit RC0277 Issue cover sheet, Audit conducted of human source 21803838 records, 28 April 2006.

341 Exhibit RC0578 Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin diary, 23 April 2006, 21.

342 Exhibit RC0277 Issue cover sheet, Audit conducted of human source 21803838 records, 28 April 2006.

343 Exhibit RC0277 Issue cover sheet, Audit conducted of human source 21803838 records, 28 April 2006, 3.

344 Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 17 May 2006, 32; Exhibit RC0292 Officer ‘Sandy White’ diary, 17 May 2006, 106; Exhibit RC0486 Officer ‘Peter Smith’ diary, 17 May 2006, 163.

345 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 8 August 2019, 4167.

346 Exhibit RC0591 Diary of Officer ‘Black’, 24 July 2006. 144.

347 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3619.

348 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3620.

349 See Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958.

350 Exhibit RC0826 Operation Khadi Final Report, 23 November 2006, 1–2.

351 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (024), 24 March 2006, 207.

352 Exhibit RC1380 Mr Philip Swindells diary, 24 July 2006, 3.

353 Subpoenas are documents issued by the court at the request of a party to litigation, compelling another party to produce documents or give evidence.

354 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (039), 24 July 2006, 366–7; Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 24 July 2006, 41–2; Exhibit RC0292 Officer ‘Sandy White’ diary, 24 July 2006, 5, 10; Exhibit RC0591 Diary Entry of Officer ‘Black’, 24 July 2006, 2.

355 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (039), 24 July 2006, 366.

356 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (039), 28 July 2006, 372.

357 Exhibit RC0312 Mr Gavan Ryan diary, 11 December 2006, 141.

358 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6293–4.

359 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6294.

360 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6294.

361 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6294.

362 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6460; Exhibit RC0305 Officer ‘Sandy White’ diary, 26 July 2007, 11.

363 A Monthly Source Review occurred on 5 March 2007.

364 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 31 July 2019, 3621.

365 Exhibit RC0464b Statement of Mr James (Jim) O’Brien, 14 June 2019, 52 [274].

366 Exhibit RC0464b Statement of Mr James (Jim) O’Brien, 14 June 2019, 52 [274].

367 Exhibit RC0305 Officer ‘Sandy White’ diary, 4 May 2007, 12.

368 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6293.

369 Transcript of Officer ‘Fox’, 13 September 2019, 6293; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (039), 16 June 2008, 904.

370 Exhibit RC0577d Statement of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 25 July 2019, 20 [100]; Transcript of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 10 October 2019, 7621; Exhibit RC0284 SML, 28 February 2007, 137.

371 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (016), 24 April 2008, 217.

372 Exhibit RC0977b Statement of Mr Robert Richter, 25 November 2019, 1 [3].

373 Exhibit RC0977b Statement of Mr Robert Richter, 25 November 2019, 1 [4].

374 Transcript of Mr Stephen (Steve) Waddell, 13 February 2020, 14043.

375 Exhibit RC856b Statement of Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, 30 August 2019, 7 [65].

376 Exhibit RC0295 Running Sheet for Operation ‘CLONK’/‘BRIARS’, 2 October 2010, 1; Exhibit RC0874 Mr Luke Cornelius Chronology of Briars contacts with Messrs Linnell and Ashby, 3 October 2007.

377 Exhibit RC0915 Statement of Mr Simon Overland, 19 September 2019, 8 [39].

378 Exhibit RC0295 Running Sheet for Operation ‘CLONK’/‘BRIARS’, 2 October 2010, 5.

379 Exhibit RC0310b(i) Statement of Gavan Ryan, 13 June 2019, [72].

380 Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 20 July 2007, 118.

381 Exhibit RC0337b Diary of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 6 August 2007.

382 Exhibit RC0337b Diary of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 6 August 2007.

383 Exhibit RC0915 Statement of Mr Simon Overland, 19 September 2019, 25 [133]; Exhibit RC337b Diary Extracts of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 5 August 2007, 1.

384 Exhibit RC0337b Diary of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 6 August 2007.

385 Transcript of Mr Simon Overland, 19 December 2019, 11780–2.

386 Transcript of Mr Stephen Waddell, 13 February 2020, 14017.

387 Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 25 May 2007, 111; Transcript of Mr Stephen Waddell, 13 February 2020, 14032.

388 Exhibit RC0260 Unsigned statement of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 21 May 2009.

389 Exhibit RC1196 Statement of Mr Stephen Waddell, 17 September 2019, [42].

390 Exhibit RC0305 Officer ‘Sandy White’ diary, 10 September 2007, 12.

391 Exhibit RC0825b Statement of Mr Rodney Wilson, 19 November 2019, 6 [32]; Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 6 September 2007, 123; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (101), 19 September 2007, 1233–4.

392 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (107), 29 October 2007, 1325–6.

393 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (107), 29 October 2007, 1325–6.

394 Exhibit RC1267 Email from Mr David Waters to Ms Nicola Gobbo with attached statement, 7 November 2007.

395 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (109), 7 November 2007, 1367–8; Transcript of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 11 February 2020, 13737.

396 Exhibit RC1196 Statement of Mr Stephen (Steve) Waddell, 17 September 2019, 4 [19].

397 Exhibit RC1196 Statement of Mr Stephen (Steve) Waddell, 17 September 2019, 6–7 [33]–[34].

398 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (067), 19 February 2007, 644; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (067), 20 February 2007, 645–6; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (067), 21 February 2007, 648; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (067), 22 February 2007, 650; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (067), 23 February 2007, 653–4; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (068), 27 February 2007, 661; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (068), 1 March 2007, 664; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (069), 7 March 2007, 679; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (070), 13 March 2007, 693; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (070), 14 March 2007, 707; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (075), 16 April 2007, 793; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (076), 27 April 2008, 811–12; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (077), 29 April 2007, 817; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (078), 7 May 2007, 828; Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (080), 25 June 2007, 935; Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 2 May 2007, 109; Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 6 May 2007, 109; Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 9 May 2007, 110.

399 Exhibit RC0247b Statement of Mr Carl Williams, undated, 8–9.

400 Exhibit RC0898 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius, 20 September 2019, 7 [45].

401 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (082), 9 May 2007, 830–1.

402 Exhibit RC0326 Statement of Detective Sergeant Solon (Sol) Solomon, 15 January 2019, 5.

403 Exhibit RC0329 Statement of Mr Cameron Davey, 13 May 2019, 4 [14]; Exhibit RC0326 Statement of Detective Sergeant Solon (Sol) Solomon, 15 January 2019.

404 Exhibit RC0284 SML2958, 26 February 2008, 6.

405 Exhibit RC0882 Officer ‘Wolf’ diary, 28 February 2008, 27; Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (006), 28 February 2008, 68.

406 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (007), 4 March 2008, 76.

407 Exhibit RC0313 Bundle of documents regarding Ms Nicola Gobbo’s evidence at Office of Police Integrity Hearing, 11 July 2007, 9–17.

408 Exhibit RC0318 Transcript of examination of Ms Nicola Gobbo, OPI hearing, 19 July 2007.

409 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (090), 17 July 2007, 1024–7.

410 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (090), 17 July 2007, 1025.

411 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (091), 18 July 2007, 1031.

412 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (091), 18 July 2007, 1031.

413 Police Regulation Act 1958 (Vic) s 86KA.

414 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (091), 18 July 2007, 1031.

415 Exhibit RC0318 Transcript of examination of Ms Nicola Gobbo, OPI hearing, 19 July 2007.

416 Exhibit RC0310 Statement of Mr Gavan Ryan, 13 June 2019, 13 [82]; Exhibit RC0312 Mr Gavan Ryan diary, 19 July 2007, 131.

417 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (091), 19 July 2007, 1034, 1036.

418 Exhibit RC0281 ICR3838 (094), 14 August 2007, 1087.

419 Exhibit RC0310 Statement of Mr Gavan Ryan, 13 June 2019, 14 [86]; Exhibit RC0312 Mr Gavan Ryan diary, 17 August 2007, 144.

420 Exhibit RC0320 Transcript of examination of Ms Nicola Gobbo, OPI hearing, 17 July 2007, 2.

421 Exhibit RC0320 Transcript of examination of Ms Nicola Gobbo, OPI hearing, 17 July 2007, 4–5.

422 Exhibit RC0320 Transcript of examination of Ms Nicola Gobbo, OPI hearing, 17 July 2007, 5.

423 Exhibit RC0310 Statement of Mr Gavan Ryan, 13 June 2019, 14 [86].

424 Exhibit RC0320 Transcript of examination of Ms Nicola Gobbo, OPI hearing, 17 July 2007, 7.

425 Exhibit RC0284 SML3838, 17 July 2007, 118; Exhibit RC0989 Statement of Mr Gerald Fitzgerald, 20 December 2019; Exhibit RC0937 Statement of Mr Garry Livermore, 28 October 2019.

426 Exhibit RC0284 SML2958, 17 November 2008, 55.

427 Exhibit RC0284 SML2958, 17 November 2008, 56–7.

428 Exhibit RC0284 SML2958, 17 November 2008, 55.

429 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (047), 3 December 2008, 749.

430 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (048), 5 December 2008, 757.

431 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (048), 5 December 2008, 757.

432 Exhibit RC1305 Statement of Mr Shane O’Connell, 5 December 2019, 7 [44]; Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (047), 30 November 2008, 722.

433 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (047), 3 December 2008, 749.

434 Exhibit RC1305 Statement of Mr Shane O’Connell, 5 December 2019, 10 [58].

435 Exhibit RC0284 SML2958, 11 December 2008, 58.

436 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (048), 11 December 2008, 765–6; Exhibit RC0284 SML2958, 11 December 2008, 59.

437 Transcript of Mr Simon Overland, 19 December 2019, 11820–3.

438 Transcript of Mr Dannye Moloney, 20 February 2020, 14594–5.

439 Exhibit RC0915 Statement of Mr Simon Overland, 19 September 2019, 35 [174].

440 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 15 August 2019, 4669; Transcript of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 9 September 2019, 7587.

441 Transcript of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 9 September 2019, 7587.

442 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 19 August 2019, 4868–9.

443 Exhibit RC0578 Diary Entry of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 5 December 2003, 691; Exhibit RC0578 Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin diary summary, 5 December 2008, 22; Exhibit RC0622 Statement of Officer ‘Black’, 5 June 2019, 41–5 [112]; Exhibit RC0622 Statement of Officer ‘Black’, 5 June 2019, 41–5 [112]; Transcript of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 10 October 2019, 7628, 7631; Transcript of Mr Simon Overland, 19 December 2019, 11825.

444 Transcript of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 19 August 2019, 4860–2.

445 Exhibit RC0275d Statement of Officer ‘Sandy White’, 22 May 2019, 30. See also Exhibit RC0915 Statement of Simon Overland, 19 September 2019, [178].

446 Exhibit RC0915 Statement of Mr Simon Overland, 19 September 2019, [174].

447 Exhibit RC0591 Officer ‘Black’ diary, 30 December 2008, 617.

448 Exhibit RC0578 Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin diary, 30 December 2008, 700.

449 Transcript of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 10 October 2019, 7635–8.

450 Transcript of Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, 10 October 2019, 7636.

451 Exhibit RC0518 Covert Support Division briefing note with audit trail, including SWOT analysis, 530.

452 Exhibit RC0518 Covert Support Division briefing note with audit trail, including SWOT analysis, 533.

453 Exhibit RC0518 Covert Support Division briefing note with audit trail, including SWOT analysis.

454 Exhibit RC1084 Mr Simon Overland Petra Taskforce Folder 2, 2 January 2009, 530.

455 Transcript of Mr Shane O’Connell, 21 February 2020, 14780; Exhibit RC0362 Statement of Detective Sergeant Solon (Sol) Solomon, 15 January 2019, 8.

456 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (051), 2 January 2009, 802.

457 Exhibit RC0229 Statement of Ms Nicola Gobbo, 7 January 2009; Transcript of Mr Shane O’Connell, 21 February 2020, 14786–7.

458 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (053), 12 January 2009, 824.

459 Exhibit RC0520 Human Source Deactivation Form, 13 January 2009, 24–5.

460 Exhibit RC0584 Email chain involving Mr Anthony (Tony) Biggin, Officer ‘Black’, Officer ‘Richards’, Mr Andrew Glow and Officer ‘Sandy White’, 8 January 2009.

461 Exhibit RC0281 ICR2958 (053), 12 January 2009, 827.

462 Exhibit RC1196 Statement of Mr Stephen Waddell, 17 September 2019, 6 [31].

463 Exhibit RC1196 Statement of Mr Stephen Waddell, 17 September 2019, 6 [31]; Exhibit RC1006 Petra Taskforce Weekly Update with handwritten notes of Mr Luke Cornelius, 16 March 2009, 26–33.

464 Exhibit RC1196 Statement of Mr Stephen Waddell, 17 September 2019, 6 [33].

465 Exhibit RC1206 Statement of Mr Ronald (Ron) Iddles, 3 June 2019, [7]–[9].

466 Exhibit RC1196 Statement of Mr Stephen Waddell, 17 September 2019, 8 [41].

467 Exhibit RC1196 Statement of Mr Stephen Waddell, 17 September 2019, 8 [41]; Exhibit RC1206b Statement of Mr Ron Iddles, 4 [21]; Transcript of Mr Stephen Waddell, 13 February 2020, 14055–6; Transcript of Mr Ronald (Ron) Iddles, 14 February 2020, 14150–1.

468 Exhibit RC1206 Statement of Ronald (Ron) Iddles, 3 June 2019, 3–4 [17]–[18].

469 Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Mr Finlay (Fin) McRae, 13 November 2019, [3.22].

470 Exhibit RC1718 Letter from Mr Kieran Walshe to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 4 June 2009; Exhibit RC1033b Letter to Witness F from Mr Kieran Walshe, 26 August 2009.

471 Exhibit RC0947 Letter to Mr Simon Overland from Ms Nicola Gobbo, 7 September 2009.

472 Exhibit RC1037 Letter from Mr Kieran Walshe to Ms Nicola Gobbo, 14 September 2009.

473 Exhibit RC0948 Letter from Ms Nicola Gobbo to Mr Simon Overland, 28 September 2009.

474 Exhibit RC0949 Letter from Ms Nicola Gobbo to Mr Simon Overland, 21 January 2010.

475 Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Mr Findlay (Fin) McRae, 13 November 2019, 18 [3.48]; Exhibit RC1894 Subpoena issued on behalf of Mr Paul Dale to Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, 27 January 2010.

476 Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Mr Findlay (Fin) McRae, 13 November 2019, [3.51].

477 Exhibit RC1728 Letter from Piper Alderman to VGSO, 8 February 2010.

478 Informer privilege is a ground—reason—that police can use to refuse to hand over documents in answer to a subpoena. The basis of this ground is that the identity of an informer should not be revealed.

479 Exhibit RC1728 Letter from Piper Alderman to VGSO, 8 February 2010.

480 Exhibit RC1725 Letter from OPP to Piper Alderman contained on file of Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius, 26 February 2010.

481 Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Mr Findlay (Fin) McRae, 13 November 2019, 19 [3.51]; Victoria Police, ‘Email from Isabel Parsons to Findlay (Fin) McRae’, 26 February 2010, produced by Victoria Police in response to a Commission Notice to Produce; Exhibit RC1726 Letter from Piper Alderman to VGSO, 26 February 2010.

482 Exhibit RC1351 Letter to Mr Greg Elms from Mr Tony Hargreaves, 1 March 2010.

483 Exhibit RC1355 Email from Ron Gipp to Phillip Dodgson, 10 March 2010.

484 Exhibit RC1305 Statement of Mr Shane O’Connell, 5 December 2019, 32 [204]–[206].

485 Exhibit RC1189 Statement of Steve Smith, undated, 13 [75]; Exhibit RC1696 Email from Steve Smith to Luke Cornelius and Emmett Dunne, 6 May 2010.

486 Exhibit RC1696 Email from Steve Smith to Luke Cornelius and Emmett Dunne, 6 May 2010.

487 Exhibit RC0950 Statement of Claim, Nicola Gobbo v State of Victoria & Ors, 29 April 2010.

488 Exhibit RC1085 Letter of Advice from Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office to Superintendent Lardner, 21 May 2010, 21 May 2010, 4 [12]–[13]; Exhibit RC0950 Statement of Claim, Nicola Gobbo v State of Victoria & Ors, 29 April 2010.

489 Exhibit RC1828 Terms of Settlement signed by Gobbo and Ryan, 11 August 2010.

490 Exhibit RC1094 Email chain involving Angela Hantsis, David Jones, Doug Fryer, Shane O’Connell, Graham Evans, Peter Lardner, Andrew Bona, Michael Roberts and John O’Connor, 12 August 2010.

491 Exhibit RC0951 Memo from Mr Overland to Mr Pope, 16 August 2010.

492 Transcript of Mr Simon Overland, 19 December 2019, 11904.

493 Exhibit RC0441b SDU Standard Operating Procedure Contact with ‘Witness F’ (Ms Nicola Gobbo), 29 August 2010, 2.

494 Exhibit RC0795 Statement of Superintendent John O’Connor, 11 October 2019, 4 [27].

495 Exhibit RC0795 Statement of Superintendent John O’Connor, 11 October 2019, 7 [44].

496 Exhibit RC0795 Statement of Superintendent John O’Connor, 11 October 2019, 7 [45].

497 Exhibit RC0326 Statement of Detective Sergeant Solon (Sol) Solomon, 15 January 2019, 18–19.

498 Exhibit RC0679 Consolidated transcripts of tapes of conversations between Mr Boris Buick and Ms Nicola Gobbo, 15 February 2011– 9 November 2011, 75.

499 Exhibit RC0679 Transcript of conversation between Ms Nicola Gobbo, Mr Boris Buick, Mr Jason Lebusque and CDPP, 24 August 2011, 118.

500 Exhibit RC0679 Consolidated transcripts of tapes of conversations between Mr Boris Buick and Ms Nicola Gobbo, 15 February 2011– 9 November 2011, 24 August 2011, 118.

501 Exhibit RC0679 Consolidated transcripts of tapes of conversations between Boris Buick and Nicola Gobbo 15 February 2011– 9 November 2011, 26 August 2011, 17–22, 35–6; Transcript of Inspector Boris Buick, 1 November 2019, 8849–51.

502 Exhibit RC0636 Statement of Inspector Boris Buick, 10 May 2019, [56].

503 Exhibit RC0636 Statement of Inspector Boris Buick, 10 May 2019, [58].

504 Exhibit RC1039 Briars Taskforce Update, 21 September 2009.

505 Exhibit RC0962 Statement of Mr Gerard Maguire, 8 August 2019, 10 [48]–[50].

506 Exhibit RC0962 Statement of Mr Gerard Maguire, 8 August 2019, [69].

507 Exhibit RC1099 Memorandum of Advice—Buick v Dale—Gerald Maguire, 4 October 2011 with handwritten mark ups of Mr Findlay McRae, 4 October 2011, 2–4 [8]–[17], 12 [54].

508 Exhibit RC1099 Memorandum of Advice—Buick v Dale—Gerald Maguire, 4 October 2011 with handwritten mark ups of Mr Findlay McRae, 4 October 2011, 10–11 [48]–[50].

509 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 75, 12 [54].

510 Exhibit RC1255 Statement of Mr Doug Fryer, 7 October 2019, 15 [86].

511 Exhibit RC1307 Driver Taskforce Steering Committee minutes, 21 October 2011.

512 Exhibit RC0679 Transcript of conversation between Ms Nicola Gobbo, Mr Boris Buick and Mr Jason Lebusque, 21 October 2011.

513 Exhibit RC0679 Transcript of conversation between Ms Nicola Gobbo, Mr Boris Buick and Mr Jason Lebusque, 21 October 2011, 6.

514 Exhibit RC0679 Transcript of conversation between Ms Nicola Gobbo, Mr Boris Buick and Mr Jason Lebusque, 21 October 2011, 13.

515 Exhibit RC0795 Statement of Superintendent John O’Connor, 11 October 2019, [121].

516 Exhibit RC0698 Email from Ms Krista Breckweg to Mr Boris Buick and Mr Paul Sheridan, 4 November 2011.

517 Exhibit RC0698 Email from Ms Krista Breckweg to Mr Boris Buick and Mr Paul Sheridan, 4 November 2011.

518 Exhibit RC0646 Operation Purana Update, email from Mr Graham Ashton to Mr Shane Kirne, copied to Mr Jeff Pope, Mr Boris Buick, Ms Krista Breckweg, 4 November 2011.

519 Exhibit RC0795 Statement of Superintendent John O’Connor, 11 October 2019, [127].

520 Exhibit RC0347 Memorandum from Mr Paul Sheridan to Mr Graham Ashton attaching ‘Summary Witness F as requested by the CDPP’ by Mr John O’Connor, 6–7 November 2011.

521 Exhibit RC0347 Memorandum from Mr Paul Sheridan to Mr Graham Ashton attaching ‘Summary Witness F as requested by the CDPP’ by Mr John O’Connor, 6–7 November 2011.

522 Transcript of Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, 11 Dec 2019, 10870.

523 Exhibit RC0856 Statement of Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, 30 August 2019, 20 [176].

524 Exhibit RC0856 Statement of Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, 30 August 2019, 20 [177]–[178].

525 Exhibit RC0856 Statement of Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, 30 August 2019, 20 [180]–[183]; Victoria Police, ‘Filenote of Mr Findlay McRae’, 8 November 2011, produced by Victoria Police in response to a Commission Notice to Produce.

526 Exhibit RC1096 Statement of Ms Kerri Judd, Director of Public Prosecutions, 8 November 2019, 1 [5]–[6], 2–3 [13]–[17].

527 Exhibit RC1096 Statement of Ms Kerri Judd, Director of Public Prosecutions, 8 November 2019, 1–2, [5]–[9].

528 Exhibit RC1096 Statement of Ms Kerri Judd, Director of Public Prosecutions, 8 November 2019, 1–2, [5]–[8], [16]–[17].

529 Exhibit RC1096 Statement of Ms Kerri Judd, Director of Public Prosecutions, 8 November 2019, 1–2, [5]–[8], [18].

530 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, 47 [5.17].

531 Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Mr Findlay (Fin) McRae, 13 November 2019, 31 [6.1], 30 [5.13].

532 Neil Comrie, Victoria Police Human Source 3838: A Case Review (Report, 30 July 2012), 26, 28, 42, 45, 47.

533 Exhibit RC1096 Statement of Ms Kerri Judd, Director of Public Prosecutions, 8 November 2019, 5 [27]; Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Findlay McRae, 13 November 2019, 38 [7.7]; Exhibit RC1815 File note of Mr Findlay McRae of meeting with DPP and OPP, 28 August 2013.

534 Exhibit RC1255 Statement of Mr Douglas (Doug) Fryer, 7 October 2019, 19 [105].

535 See Exhibit RC1306 Further statement of Mr Jeffrey (Jeff) Pope, 21 January 2020, 14–27 [60]–[88]; Exhibit RC0835 Statement of Detective Superintendent Paul Sheridan, 12 November 2019, 8–9 [46]–[52]; Exhibit RC1166 Statement of Detective Superintendent Paul Sheridan, 12 December 2019; Exhibit RC0795 Statement of Superintendent John O’Connor, 11 October 2019, 23–8 [129]–[157].

536 Anthony Dowsley, ‘Underworld Lawyer a Secret Police Informer’, Herald Sun (Melbourne, 31 March 2014) 1.

537 Exhibit RC1096b Information provided by Ms Kerri Judd, Director of Public Prosecutions, 8 November 2019, 7 [44]–[45].

538 Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Mr Findlay (Fin) McRae, 13 November 2019, 38 [7.13].

539 Exhibit RC1404 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana, 29 November 2019, [26].

540 Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Mr Findlay (Fin) McRae, 13 November 2019, 42 [7.21].

541 Exhibit RC1404 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana, 29 November 2019, [36].

542 Exhibit RC1404 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana, 29 November 2019, [39].

543 Exhibit RC1067 Statement of Mr Findlay McRae, 13 November 2019, 39 [7.14].

544 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 61, [1].

545 Exhibit RC1711 Letter from Mr Kenneth (Ken) Lay to Mr Stephen O’Bryan, 10 April 2014, 361.

546 Exhibit RC0008 Statement of Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson, 22 March 2019, Annexure 61, [4].

547 Murray Kellam, Report Concerning Victoria Police Handling of Human Source Code Name 3838 (Report, 6 February 2015) 91 (Recommendation 12).

548 John Champion, Report to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Relation to Recommendation 12 of the Kellam Report (Report, 5 February 2016) 6 [28].

549 John Champion, Report to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Relation to Recommendation 12 of the Kellam Report (Report, 5 February 2016) 35 [217], 36 [214].

550 AB & EF v CD [2017] VSC 350, [56] (Ginnane J).

551 AB & EF v CD [2017] VSC 350, [58]–[59] (Ginnane J).

552 Responsive submission, Victoria Police, 24 August 2020, [147.4], [147.12].

553 AB & EF v CD [2017] VSC 350; EF v CD [2017] VSC 351 (Ginnane J).

554 AB & EF v CD [2017] VSC 350, [10]; EF v CD [2017] VSC 351, [3]–[4] (Ginnane J).

555 AB & EF v CD [2017] VSC 350, [422]; EF v CD [2017] VSC 351, [38] (Ginnane J).

556 AB v CD & EF [2017] VSCA 338 (Ferguson CJ, Osborn and McLeish JJA).

557 AB (a pseudonym) v CD (a pseudonym); EF (a pseudonym) v CD (a pseudonym) (2018) 362 ALR 1, 5 [13] (Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon and Edelman JJ).

Reviewed 07 December 2020

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