Current Royal Commission into Lawyer X gangland convictions on tainted evidence & police corruption

shellyg

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The project was well before the gangland war, never got planning approval.
Sorry, I made the assumption given you decided not to pursue him over the money that it must have been through it or close enough to the end of the war. After so long you must have been really surprised to get paid.

Either one of the scenarios you put forward in explanation of why you got it finally is likely right then.
 

shellyg

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Victoria Police's chief lawyer was overcome with emotion and bolted from the witness stand after describing the use of Nicola Gobbo as a police informer as "unthinkable" and inconsistent with the role of a defence barrister.

The use of disgraced criminal barrister, Nicola Gobbo, as an informer was "unthinkable", according to Victoria Police's chief lawyer who was overcome with emotion while giving evidence about the danger she faced.

Finn McRae, the director of legal services for the force, today told the Lawyer X royal commission that he was never informed or consulted over the use of Ms Gobbo, who was betraying her clients.



 

Snake_Baker

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Victoria Police's chief lawyer was overcome with emotion and bolted from the witness stand after describing the use of Nicola Gobbo as a police informer as "unthinkable" and inconsistent with the role of a defence barrister.

The use of disgraced criminal barrister, Nicola Gobbo, as an informer was "unthinkable", according to Victoria Police's chief lawyer who was overcome with emotion while giving evidence about the danger she faced.

Finn McRae, the director of legal services for the force, today told the Lawyer X royal commission that he was never informed or consulted over the use of Ms Gobbo, who was betraying her clients.

This is now a runaway train.
 

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spike101

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On the little I watched today McCrae seemed to suggest that SO was overseeing the ‘payment‘ to to Gobbo. What was his budget, surely the then police minister and the premier would have had some input into whether this was ok?
 

skipper kelly

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Gobbo starts tomorrow for 4 half days with breaks and no image via video link. Has not put in a statement and limited cross examination will be available due to time constraints. Suspect most of it will be redacted anyway.
 

shellyg

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Lawyer X Evidence - Day 1

Phone is ringing! And we're ready! There was a lot of stress leading up to this as to whether or not she was even going to give evidence, but hallelujah!

She is on the line! And she has taken the oath.

She has read a copy of the statement and some of the transcripts. Her lawyer Nathwani is just confirming a few things and introducing her to this commission.
As she starts, we tender the 1,141st document. Incredible.
The first break will be around 11.30. But, if she feels she needs a break, Gobbo is to let the commission know.

And Winneke begins the questioning.
To start, he wants to confirm that she was at the bar, practicing as a criminal barrister from 1998 to 2009. Gobbo confirms this, but said she didn’t start out with the criminal barrister intention but found herself here.
In any event, that’s where she ended up.

Gobbo confirmed that counsels are independent.
"Yes," she told Winneke, but added: "I accept that proposition but that's not always the way it works."
She accepts that barristers have a duty to their clients and that counsels are to defend those accused of criminal conduct while being "fiercely independent". They must also refuse a brief if they have a conflict of interest and cannot breach a clients privilege.
She agreed with all of this.

There was a bit of a delay so the next update will come through at 10.30 - but it's definitely worth waiting for!

Gobbo accepts that the process of the criminal justice system relies heavily on the proper observance for those participating in the system with "high, ethical standards".
She accepts that the "rules of the system are fundamentally important", and Winneke puts to her the term "fundamental rights of accused people, the right to obtain independent legal advice and the right to a fair trial", all of which Gobbo also accepts.

"There have been circumstances in which there is material being held back or covered up and not disclosed for it to be part of the PII argument in the first place," Gobbo says.

"Obviously over time they became more and more relaxed, I suppose is one way of putting it. It became a, not a joke, but the way they treated it was like a joke," Gobbo said, and added that it would end up as a royal commission.

It was based on the view that she had that the matters she was engaged in with her handlers was part of a very close examination that would lead to this commission.
"There were many, many occasions upon which I was extremely concerned about what was going on. Basically whether someone had said if it was okay or not okay, and each and every time I was assured it wasn't a matter for me or not to ask questions and given the impression that everyone that needed to know, knew and everything was okay."

Winneke is asking about the consequences that led to Gobbo informing to police. This was prior to her registration, but certainly links up.
For a refresher, she moved in with a man she had a relationship with. He was a user of drugs and also sold them and when police raided the house, she offered information.

Winneke is walking Gobbo through her prior criminal charges, around drug use.

Another warrant was executed at her house in 1995 and more drugs were found. Wilson was charged again in relation to those drugs.
Gobbo said that the impression in the affidavet, sworn in 1997, was inconsistent with the actual facts of the matter "wasn't the full story"

In 1995 in July, Gobbo was registered as an informer by Sgt Ashton and a person by the name of Argyle. Gobbo accepts this was right, but this registration was not known to her until much later, according to prior evidence.
She said she wasn't aware until it came out in the media; "But I do have a recollection of seeing their intervention because I couldn't get in the house."

Wilson had fallen back into a "very bad way" and was using drugs to the extent that he "was nothing like the person I met" and was very violent.
There had been plans to introduce an undercover agent to Wilson.

"I had failed in that regard because look where we are," Gobbo said, reflecting on her relationship with Wilson and her following registration in the late 1990s.

In Feb 1998, Gobbo met with two people - Bowden and Kruger I believe may be the pseudonyms for these officers.
She accepts that this meeting took place.
She was told that her employer was a "crook and should be in jail". She believes that it may have come from a different detective, however.
Either way, this kicked off her informing on her own employer and her own firm.

In April 1998, Gobbo made a witness statement to a federal agent in a proceeding against Tony Mokbel, who had been charged with perjury. She dealt with two AFP officers who were investigating charges against Horty Mokbel, who her firm was representing.
"This is how I first came to meet Tony Mokbel," she told Winneke.
Gobbo was present when Mokbel signed affidavits on property so that his brother could be released from jail. She made a statement in relation to these circumstances, and Mokbel was charged with perjury in relation to these affidavits.
"I remember being petrified of him," Gobbo said about being requested to give evidence against him in a trial.

Gobbo said she has a "vague memory" of discussing the prospect of working as a lawyer for the federal police and having obtained a law degree, it would be a "huge way to get ahead". She requested a meeting to discuss some issues with AFP agents in 1998.
"There was a period of time where AFP stopped recruiting for a couple of years and I think I fell into that period of time. The request for the meeting wouldn't have been for that purpose," she said of AFP's evidence that it was to inform on clients and assist.
"It would have had something to do with the pressure of ongoing, inadvertent threats," she said the meetings were really about.
She disputes wanting to have a meeting to provide information to federal police.

Gobbo does not dispute that she alluded to the possibility that she could provide information to federal police.
She said it was around the time she was either studying or had finished her masters and she had started researching with a view to do further study on, "ironically, I know it sounds laughable in a sense", a relationship with police and informers.

In June of 1998, Gobbo is involved in a committal proceeding and she meets two other federal agents while her firm was representing a man called Goldberg.
One of the agents indicated that she rang him and said she has information of interest to the AFP. Gobbo does not recall this call: "I'm not in a position to dispute what's been said, it's probably true."
The agents met with her on June 30 and she offered information on alleged fraud and money laundering.
When asked if she was keen to provide information to the AFP, she said: "If this is about the defrauding of Victoria Police legal aid, money laundering, to do with solicitor 1, then yes."

Gobbo's best assumption on the agents is that they were seeking her cooperation.
Gobbo said she cannot recall specific details from the late 1990s, but knows that at some point with Victoria Police, there was an indication that they could not deal with federal matters.
On the 7th of July 1998, Gobbo had a meeting with federal police again. It's the second meeting with the same two federal police officers, at a hotel in East Melbourne.
The general discussion focused on a possible introduction to a "client". Gobbo assumes that means they were talking about an undercover operative. Gobbo notes that she was scared and that assurances were given.
"I presume there was a discussion about, going on from the line above, abut how they would do it and the manner they would protect me and being afraid of doing so."

On 21 July 1998, she had a meeting with Victoria Police officers - Kruger and another officer (not real names again).
There's an indication in an information report that she provided them with information in relation to Solicitor 1's suspected involvement in money laundering and that they needed to check specific areas in relation to business dealings.
They needed to check their trust account, she told Vic Pol

Winneke is asking about a relationship Gobbo had with a police officer.
She said she cannot recall seeing him in a meeting by himself, but "it's not to say I didn't now".
"It's very ironic that I'm telling you this at a royal commission," Gobbo says of her evidence. The commission is having its first break and will resume in about 10 minutes (or about 25 for this liveblog, counting the delay).

Gobbo said she has just taken some medication and should be able to proceed.
We're just having some issues in the commission regarding whether certain questioning should have been published.

Winneke is asking about a relationship Gobbo had with an AFP member, which commenced around the time she was acting for clients with Solicitor 1.
He threatened her initially, and there were people for whom she acted that the officer had particular dealings with. He said he knew what was happening with her employer and alluded that she was part of it.
Subsequent to that, she continued to have meetings with him.

Gobbo would meet this AFP officer at one of his favourite cafes in East Melbourne and he would begin seeding information from her.
"Looking back, I'm embarrassed at my level of naivety and stupidity. [It was] in a fairly kind of manipulative, predatory fashion. But in fairness, that was his job."

She had "duel, competing" feelings about him because part of her was petrified about him because of his power and control over the drug squad, and then respect developed over time "over what he promised those accused people he ended up delivering. When he promised a deal of a lifetime, he delivered".

The officer was "obsessed" with John Higgs.
"He was single-mindedly obsessed with Higgs. I don't believe I could have provided him with any [information]."
Had she had the information, she said she would have given the information: "I didn't realise at the time, and you can't realise, or even if you have the whole brief of evidence, you don't realise how a small bit of information can assist the police in some regard. Or at least, in my defence, they were never going to tell you."

"The difficulty, at least in practical terms in my point of view, at the time, putting my head back to where I was at that point in my career, was a genuine fear of not answering these questions because to me, he was a very powerful police officer," Gobbo said on why she informed on her own clients to this officer.
She said the reason she met him was "legitimately because of that particular client, in relation to either what he had done or what he was about to do".

Gobbo said he was "manipulative", which is why she disclosed information.
"If I knew then what I knew now, I wouldn't have been concerned," Gobbo said.
If asked if there were people at the bar who she could speak to about these matters, Gobbo said that at some point, she did actually go to Solicitor 1 and talk to him. She said it was back at the point where she was told to help Victoria Police or she would end up in jail, by investigators she met first in the late 1990s

Gobbo is struggling to put into words the power of this officer: "He gave the impression of knowing everything there is to know about everyone. That's not to say I had committed a criminal offence at that point of time, but all I had anything to worry about to do with my most recent employment, but that was my then level of maturity is very different to what it is now."

"All the matters that I was working with as a lawyer were not always necessarily privileged," Gobbo just told the commission :oops:

"I was afraid of him in terms of the kind of innuendo, where I knew, or at least had suspicion, that the firm I worked for and my name would come up in their listening devices and assumptions were made," Gobbo said of her feelings of the officer.
The assumptions (as was made "clear by police") persons such as Gobbo who were acting for criminals were money launderers and there were allegations and suspicions that certain solicitors were being paid in non-declared cash and drugs. She said it came from Overland's decree that police were to go after those associated with criminals.

When Winneke asked why, as a new barrister, she approached police and agreed to assist, Gobbo said it was a difficult situation.
Winneke is just walking Gobbo through some documents now.
Gobbo is speaking about her first registration, which she had not known about until it emerged in the media. She is surprised some handlers (or supervisors) were unaware of her registration too, because it was likely this information would have been shared.

"Even if every police officer that I ever spoke to about anything didn't put a record in anywhere, the fact that I had made a statement and then Wilson was arrested, would have been accessible to anyone," Gobbo said about why she finds it strange no one knew about her prior registration.

This is a big admission as many witnesses from Victoria Police have said they had no idea she was registered and maintained that again and again, despite being grilled by counsels.

Gobbo provided notes to Jeff Pope in relation to his legal studies: "At some point, he told me that he had started doing a law degree at LaTrobe University and he wanted some study notes, and I do remember emailing something."
For a refresher on Pope, he was her handler during her first registration. She says they had an intimate and on-and-off relationship over several months. He, who is "happily" married with kids, denies this.

Gobbo handed over documents to Pope concerning the exchanges of property between two clients of her former employer solicitor.
Effectively, the period of registration in the late 1990s finished towards the end of 1999.
When asked if she continued to provide information to other police officers and before 2002 and 2003, Gobbo said she's not "from what I'm aware of". Hard to miss if you have been speaking to police officers, right?
When asked if it would have occurred in a less formal way than a registration, Gobbo said it could have possibly happened, but it would have been in an "unknowing or unwitting way", according to Winneke

Winneke is making a move to a different topic: Gobbo's association with people who have been charged with criminal offences.

Gobbo socialised "to a degree" with the criminals/clients. The first social relationship - with someone we cannot identify - was not particularly close.
"I was in courts most days and her wife ran a business, and so it was convenient to everybody to meet after 7 when her business closed, close to where the business was so I can remember having a meal with them 2 or 3 times during the time I was acting for him. But that was probably the first one I socialised with and some people more than others."
Who more than others? The Mokbels were significant, as was Higgs.

Winneke is asking about Gobbo's relationships with criminals.
She represented Milad Mokbel around 2002, as well as Tony Mokbel. She continued to represent Tony up until the time he had absconded in 2006.
When asked if she had developed a personal relationship with him, Ms Gobbo said: "Primarily because there was effectively no solicitor involved

On her relationship with Tony Mokbel, Gobbo said:
"The biggest one that came about was after Horty Mokbel got a sentence for his fraud, it was around the same time Tony was arrested. Tony had gone through a number of lawyers who had, as I understand it, charged him a fortune and ripped him blind. Just taken money from him and done nothing. When I first went to see him in prison, and subsequently started acting for him, what initially came about was a weekly, early-dinner-time catch up with his brothers because otherwise I was being driven insane with--each person from his family and extended family ringing and asking questions."

Gobbo said Tony became a part of those meetings with his brothers later.
She continued to communicate with him after he had been arrested in Greece. When he came back to Australia, Gobbo said she continued to communicate with him when he rang from jail in Athens, and then when he was extradited.
Gobbo said he had "limited conversations with him because there was a master plan by my handlers to follow a script that they had worked out to cease communication with him completely".
Before he was extradited, Gobbo charged him a fee. She said she has a vague memory of doing a background summary of a professor from Monash who was also a barrister for Tony - which was around the time she was registered as an informer.
Gobbo wrote a fee for $1,800 for her work with Tony before his extradition. She said she knows there was "definitely" a Monash professor involved.

The "social and professional relationship" with the Mokbels commenced in 1997. Gobbo appeared initially for Carl Williams wife, Roberta, for a summary matter in 1999 - but she does not have a recollection of that.
Winneke asked who introduced who - as in did Tony introduce Carl, or did Carl introduce Tony? Gobbo said she thinks Tony introducing her to Carl at a prison during a visit in the time that Tony was on remand (Feb 2002 until Carl got bail first, then Tony)

Gobbo represented Carl Williams on a couple of occasions. It was in relation to alleged threats and an application to revoke his bail.
She would have known reasonably well be then, because she attended his daughters christening and made a speech in 2003: "A whole table of lawyers went. I was the only one stupid enough to make a speech."

Asking about the burner phones Gobbo was given, she said they were not registered in her name and has no idea who registered them.
She said any phone that was sitting in her name would be intercepted by police and that they were listening, which was the general concern among the underworld criminals.
She said there were other barristers who used this practice to avoid police intercepting calls and that "there are now".

Winneke is asking about a time she went to the races, where he alludes to her meeting the Morans. She said she has no recollection going, but in those years she would have been a senior member and would have likely gone if she wasn't in court.
"If you're suggesting I bumped into people like her at the races that's probably accurate," Gobbo said of meeting Lisa Moran

"Absolute rubbish. He had indicated on a number of occasions that he hoped to sell enough to drugs to pay for presents for his children that he would be away from.... I had raised that with my handlers, because he was saying things... and none of it ever eventuated.... and I raised it because I wanted clarification if that ever happened but it never eventuated," Gobbo said of the Mokbel cook.
She added the allegations he bought her gifts "is all rubbish".

Winneke is now asking about her association with various police officers. There were issues with the drug squad in the late 1990s and into the early 2000s.
"A lot of corruption in the drug squad," Gobbo said.
Wayne Strawhorn would be charged for corruption - the same man she felt manipulated and coerced by earlier.
At this time, she was representing Tony Mokbel and a number of others who were part of an investigation by the drug squad.

It was useful in applications for bail to put to the court those corruption issues (even if they were just allegations) so that they can receive a delay. It was how Tony Mokbel eventually achieved bail.
Gobbo came to have at least some involvement with DeSanto, on behalf of her clients, and was keen to provide information to him to assist him with his investigation into corrupt police officers.

"I know it may sound pathetic to say, but he had the ability to--I guess on another part of me emotionally--feel important, and no doubt, boosted by self esteem in the same way that Wayne Strawhorn had done when I was a lot younger. DeSanto was a lot smoother about it and I can recall some phone conversations where he was incredibly clever in the way he cryptically answered things," Gobbo said about Peter DeSanto.

As Gobbo has said, she felt Strawhorn was a manipulator of information out of her, and that DeSanto was "far more polished" - meaning, he was effectively better at getting information from Gobbo about her clients.
The information she did provide was on Tony Mokbel, Winneke suggests - but this is where Gobbo suddenly starts with the "I don't know" and the "I don't recall", ultimately falling into the hole VicPol witnesses have many times before her evidence.

Gobbo was in an intimate relationship with DeSanto and would begin staying with him overnight. She said it was a "convenient arrangement".

Mr Strawhorn was arrested in March 2003 and in October 2003, Gobbo represented David Waters on a Section 56 application in the Magistrates Court. Waters had been required to appear at the court and give evidence against Strawhorn, but he had refused to do so. DeSanto was involved in this application and had summoned Waters to give evidence against Strawhorn.

Winneke is just moving to some "brief, series of questions" about the Spring Racing Carnival in 2003, where she may have met Judie Moran at her tent.
Gobbo said she has no recollection of going and meeting her, but does remember going to the races (unless she was going to court). The commission has evidence she met DeSanto at the races and was with Waters and Campbell at the races.
She didn't go with them, but "you bump into all sorts of people you know there".

She also met the main Briars witness (who cannot be disclosed)

 

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sprockets

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"Iddles told me 'Overland would burn me,' Ms Gobbo says
By Tammy Mills
Simon Overland, pictured when he was Victoria Police chief commissioner.

Simon Overland, pictured when he was Victoria Police chief commissioner.
Former chief commissioner Simon Overland was the main driver behind the move of turning Ms Gobbo witness.
Ms Gobbo said Mr Iddles told her not to become a witness and not to trust Mr Overland.
"Iddles said to me to not do it, not to be witness," she said. "That Overland would burn me and not to trust him.""

 

shellyg

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It's a bit patchy but these live blogs often have little gold nuggets in them.

Lawyer X Evidence - Day 2

Good morning!
The Lawyer X royal commission is resuming with Nicola Gobbo again today. She is expected to give evidence until approximately 1.15pm - but note that yesterday we concluded at 2.15pm due to her starting late.
Yesterday was a big day for the royal commission. Gobbo pointed to Victoria Police and its officers - namely corrupt cop Wayne Strawhorn and detective Peter De Santo - as "master manipulators". She said she was petrified of them on a number of occasions.

The commission is resuming in a private hearing, so updates will be a lot slower until further notice.
The commission is arguing whether or not part of Gobbo’s evidence should be heard in public or private hearing.
"The story is the story,” is Winneke’s argument, but there’s a lot of push back happening with other counsels.

The evidence will be in public "as much as possible" so we should be moving on and back to the usual soon.

We have just received Gobbo's statement to this commission. From the outset, she says that she has "always wanted to assist" this commission but that her health "has made it exceptionally difficult to do so".

Winneke is asking about a pill operation in a house that was the subject of investigation by the NDID, led by Paul Dale.

This 15 minute delay is such a pain - but be sure to stick around, we have some pretty heavy admissions from Gobbo coming very soon.

Gobbo knew Paul Dale because she had been involved in matters where he was the detective. He was the crew of the drug squad that Gobbo understood to be in charge of MDMA, so she had drafted a number of bail applications in matters that he was involved in.
She had also cross-examined him at some point, and it was quite antagonistic.
Keep in mind that Paul Dale would be found to be corrupt and dealing in drugs with Victorian underworld criminals. Gobbo was later asked to appear as a witness against him, following a time in which she recorded a conversation with him while wearing a wire.

Gobbo knew of the existence of the ethics committee - and had actually been referred to it in relation to a client at one stage - but did not seek advice.
"In hindsight, there's a lot of things I would have done differently," Gobbo told the commission

Back to De Santo: Gobbo received an "out of the blue" call from De Santo, who was aware she had acted for Andrew Hodson.
He asked her to put him in touch with Terry Hodson. At that stage, Gobbo was aware that Hodson was an informer: "It was a well known fact."

"In retrospect, I shouldn't have," Gobbo said about why she represented a client. "I wanted to help [Peter De Santo]."

"Isn't your first responsibility to your clients, not to the police?"
"Yeah, correct," Gobbo said.

"Do you believe you acted inappropriately?" Winneke asked.
"Looking back, there were a lot of things that were, at best, confusing and at worst, yes totally inappropriate."

"I was also wrong because I was doing the solicitor job as well as a barrister, which I shouldn't be doing," Gobbo added.
When asked if she knew it was wrong at the time, she said: "Of course I did. I don't want to come across as making excuses but where my mind was then was obviously quite different how I can look at it from this point of my life."
"Where was your mind then?" Winneke asked, pointing to her law degree and ethical courses. "What's the explanation?"
"It was a combination I think. It was a desire to want to help De Santo and, I know it sounds pathetic, but to live up to his expectations of were of me. I was also being pushed in the background by Tony Mokbel who wanted to find out as much as he could about what police did or didn't know, I didn't know it was his operation but I learned that over time. He wanted to know how much the police knew, Dale wanted to know if Tony wanted to kill him....
"I felt pressure from all around. And you're right, I should have walked away from it all."

"You knew what you were doing was wrong," Winneke put to her.
"I'm not trying to make excuses, I don't want to come across that way. Emotionally, where was my head? Completely different to where it is now. Could I see my way out of the forest back then? No. And was I accumulating information and on one level trying to impress people around me, yes I was."

We're back to asking about Dale now.
Winneke is asking about a time where Gobbo was "blind drunk" and inviting Paul Dale to stay over with her. She said she was drunk to the point of blacking out, "for the second time in my life"

"He was absolutely paranoid and his view was that my telephone was being intercepted by police," Gobbo told Winneke about Dale.
Yesterday she said it was a practice for police to intercept the phones of solicitors, right before she began informing for them for the second time - so Dale's suspicions aren't totally unfounded I suppose.

Gobbo continued to communicate with Dale up until he was arrested. He actually rang her the night he was arrested for advice. Gobbo then rang Tony Mokbel.
She said she "would have" given him advice. She cannot recall specific details of what was said, but she doesn't believe Dale would have needed to ask anything specific about what to say or what to do.
But, in any event, he called her in her capacity as a lawyer.

Gobbo said she was convinced by a detective to hand over documents re. Paul Dale

"There was a lot of encouragement and requests by [detectives] to have them," Gobbo said. She accepts she should not have handed them over as they were provided to her in her capacity as a lawyer.

"Partly not knowing whether they would come in handy at some point. Over time, I accumulated an enormous amount of drug squad chronologies that I would put in my computer, and eventually it would match up," she said on why she kept certain notes.

"Going forward, part of the reasons why what happened and what put me on the path that I ended up in 2005 is because of being so far off the white track and out of my depth and out of control in 2003 and 2004," Gobbo said

Tony Mokbel dropped Gobbo at the airport in about 2003-2004. She said she was not with him at the time, but that she was living in an apartment that was not too far from his address.
Apparently, their carparks were interlinked so he could always tell if her car was home or not. That's terrifying. (Me: Really?)
At the suggestion of whether he was with Gobbo during the night, she was really dismissive about it - so definitely a no. It needed to be asked though, Winneke's suspicions could have been right on the money.
"For the record, I have never spent the night in Tony's apartment ever, nor him with me ever," she said.

Gobbo said a name or a pseudonym she wasn't supposed to, which goes back to the argument this morning.
So we're just trying to confirm whether to go into private hearing or if we just avoid that subject until later.

I assume we're moving on with it anyway, but there may be quite a few redactions so we're going to be wary with the updates.
The person who cannot be named or referred to in any way really, called her to tell her Moran had been murdered. Police wanted to confirm she had spoken to this mysterious person and what it was in regards to.

Delays ....

Winneke is suggesting she is complicit in the murders of the Hodsons.
"Rubbish and lies," Gobbo says

I will be providing a complete rundown of these allegations very soon.

Winneke: "It was just wrong, you shouldn't have done it."
Gobbo: "Yes. And I was fortunate that I ended up in hospital when it did because it took me out of the equation in relation to a couple of people.

The pseudonyms are all over the place, so we're having some issues in the media at the moment.
I think we're moving onto another pseudonym. When he comes up in relation to this murder story later, please note names will be changed. Also details around this will be heavily redacted to protect his identity.
It's a bit of a mess really.

Update: We're still waiting for the commission to resume.

In the meantime, check out some quotes from Gobbo's statement:
"I was interviewed recently for the ABC programme, 'The 7.30 Report'. My purpose in participating in that interview was to try to improve my circumstances.... It was only meant to last a couple of hours on one day."

"I understand that many police officers who have given evidence called by Victoria Police have had access to material and have ample time to prepare in advance of their evidence. I am in a very different position. It has been anything but procedurally fair."
"The media coverage, which at times has been inaccurate, has caused significant damage to me, both physically and mentally. Consequently, my nerve pain, PTSD, severe anxiety and depression have become worse."
(Gobbo isn't getting any sympathy from me fyi - it's a consequence of informing on your own clients...)

The commission has resumed. First update in 15 minutes

Winneke is asking about Louis Moran and Gobbo's representation of him
Moran was murdered in March 2004. Three people were ultimately convicted in relation to that murder, one of which turned out to be a main witness in another trial of another of the co-accused.

[Scheduled before my last update]
We're slipping back into referring to witnesses as 'that person' to avoid identifying anyone and it's becoming quite confusing keeping up.
Whoever 'that person' is was convicted for the murder of Moran and went on to be a witness for Taskforce Briars. Gobbo provided a draft statement to police in 2009 in relation to her association with David Waters and others who were suspected in that murder.

One of the people accused of the murder confessed to Gobbo.
"Last year, my solicitors contacted me in the location I was in and asked me if I could read a copy of that draft statement and what I could say about its accuracy," Gobbo confirms.

The statement was taken on a laptop (police were typing) and there was some issue over whether or not Idles would include the material from SDU or what information they had or didn't have from there.
Idles was in two minds about what needed to go into the statement. It was left as a draft statement that had substantial gaps in it, pending a conversation with Sandy White.

Gobbo made several requests from two officers about what happened to that statement and what to come of it "but no one could assist me". The first time she saw a copy of it was when it was given to her solicitors last year in the course of this commission.
Gobbo said she learnt of this statement when it was reported in the Herald Sun. She really did learn a lot about this through the media, no wonder she's so concerned about it

Gobbo was asked in 2009 to cast her mind back and provide as much information as she could about her knowledge of David Waters, a corrupt detective, and other people who the police named in the statement.
One of them was the person she cannot identify, but we sort of vaguely maybe mentioned in a couple posts back. We need new pseudonyms...

Gobbo said she has never seen nor signed the final version of the statement

I have to be cautious with these next few updates as she is talking about 'that person' again and the circumstances around him, so things may be a little bit slower.

Gobbo may have told 'that person' something that caused him to "get ahead of the game".
I think "getting ahead of the game" is referring to a murder, so what a weird way to use that phrase. But also, cannot be sure because everyone is now talking in codes again.

Ms Gobbo keeps getting concerned that her image of commissioner Margaret McMurdo is blurry.
Can someone let her know that no one but McMurdo can see her and it's actually not really important if the image is blurry?

The evidence is a total "legal minefield" and counsels have already called out one person in this media room.

Next update at 10.04 - there was a bit of a delay. It is to do with her being called up as a witness, and it's quite compelling.

Idles told Gobbo not to be a witness as Overland would "burn him" and said "not to trust him".
Gobbo said it is the way she interpreted it, to note.
"It wasn't given in a nasty fashion, I interpreted it as kind of fatherly advice to not to trust Overland."

In 2012, Gobbo was writing letters to police requesting to be a witness - so a major turnaround from asking to be kept out of the proceedings.
"This was at a time when--post the settlement, my civil action, in 2010. From early 2011, despite the terms of the settlement, I was by harassed by Boris Buick within 48 hours of my mother dying, of him saying I was going to be called as a witness against Paul Dale and I needed to go into witness protection."
She said there were a number of discussions in 2011 in relation to whether or not she could have been called to give evidence in circumstances in which the matters before this commission would not be made public.
"All kinds of people had all kinds of crazy suggestions. One of them was completely ridiculous because I kept saying if I give evidence, all of this would come out."
One of the crazy suggestions was to have Dale's barrister to tell them what questions he wanted to ask and to ensure that he didn't ask anything that would reveal any of her informing.
"I nearly fell off--I was just shocked at how stupid it was. I remember telling my then-solicitor and him writing letters."

"[It was] after a whole year of being harassed by Boris Buick and being introduced to witness protection people. And more lies and rubbish about things that I was told will happen or not happen," Gobbo said

"I was very concerned about actually being called because I had been served as a witness summons to attend court," Gobbo said
Nathwani just jumped up, and McMurdo criticized he and Winneke for talking over each other.
Gobbo is speaking about a meeting with the DPP. At the end of September 2010, she said she thought it was the end of the "nightmare" and she "could try to get on with my life" and improve her health.
Then her mother got sick and she died in February 2011. A couple days later, Buick starts harassing her about being a witness. There are some meetings with him throughout 2011 and with solicitors from DPP, as well as witness protection people.
By the date of the committal due to start - and the night before - Gobbo was told that Graham Ashton had spoken to the Commonwealth Director and that she was not going to be called as a witness.
Gobbo said it was a relief.

Now we're moving onto her requests for a reward.
To refresh, she allegedly asked for tickets to Vegas to see Celine Dion. I may have the timing wrong, she could have asked for it earlier in her informing, but I wanted to bring that back up again.

One of the issues of me being called as a prosecution witness was the potential for all of this to come out. I can't remember who solicitor 1 spoke to in particular, I can't remember now who he spoke to. But one of the issues was whether the production of magazine that Dale had scribbled on that day would assist the prosecution without me giving evidence."

Gobbo kept the magazine. She didn't know where it was until her most recent house move after she gave evidence in later years.

Overland was "very keen" to prosecute people and was keen to have Gobbo be a witness. In effect, it would not be in Gobbo's interest as it would uncover a lot of her informing with the Source Development Unit.

She said she told the police (or the "people who were purportedly looking after me") that she couldn't be a witness without disclosing her role.
"By the time I have this conversation, he's meeting with Idles. In my mind, I'd resigned myself to the fact that it appeared there was no way any of it was going to be held back."

Gobbo said that at times, when there were recordings between herself and officers, the officers would pause and write something down to show her. This was with the intention of hiding the fact that they were asking her for specific things.
This really puts some of those recordings into perspective...

We're back to asking about 'that person', so updates will again slow down until we move on to something a lot less risky.

Gobbo was involved in trials of various stages. The one Winneke is asking about refers to 'that person' again.
I think she's saying she wasn't involved in it? Everything is really confusing with this particular person.

Winneke: "Has it ever been suggested you were with Mokbel at around the time money was handed over to the Briars witness with respect to that murder?"
Gobbo: "No. Having read the statement that witness made.... just garbage that's in it, that's not corroborated by anything, I wouldn't be surprised he said something like that."
Winneke: "Do you know why it's written in your logbook?"
Gobbo: "It's something he would have said or asked that caused me to write that down. It looks like a question of 'was Mokbel in Queensland or not as of the 31 March 2004'."

"Different handlers worked differently. Some took incredibly detailed notes, very specific, and some didn't. I don't know who it was that I was talking to at that particular occasion. Sometimes that asked a lot of questions and sometimes they didn't ask many at all. I don't want to have the impression be wrong, that is I'm trying to hide something," Gobbo said of why she wrote particular notes down

As often is the case with my handlers, I didn't know something was as valuable as it was at the time and investigators don't necessarily tell you that."

Winneke is asking about Gobbo's relationship with Paul Dale.
She accepts that she had a line of communication with him and would often use a phone that was not in her name. She accepts she acted as a conduit between Carl Williams and Paul Dale; as in, she made sure they stayed in touch.
There was one night where she was speaking to Dale and Williams rang her. When Dale heard her answer the phone, he asked to speak to Williams and she handed over the phone. Gobbo said she does not know if it was on more than one occasion.

This was around May 2004.
There was an allegation that Paul Dale met with Carl Williams around early may, and the murder of the Hodsons occurred a couple weeks later. There were allegations made that Gobbo was the conduit to foster a meeting between the two.
Gobbo said she understands the allegations.
"I don't want to just guess, but my recollection was there was some conversation with one of them about where Dale was going to be or where Williams was going to be on a particular day or week, and they managed to find each other in that.

Gobbo said she can recall having meetings with the Petra Taskforce in 2007 about these allegations. She did not give information about it to her handlers, or anyone else.
She was asked by her handlers, quite specifically, about all the phones she was using, but she did not tell them about the number she used to talk to Dale. (Me: wow)
She said she was not in a position to tell them, because she did not have the phone at that time. At some point, she did tell them she was using false phones, but she was unsure when.
Winneke suggests it happened after she was confronted with evidence from police.
Gobbo said she isn't sure: "Whenever I was asked something specific, and as time went on, I'm not disagreeing with you, but what I would say is that when time went on, the detail I provided them was in far great specificity than at the beginning. The first couple of debriefings were 'tell me everything you know'. And then they would come back and sometimes ask specific things about specific people."
For example, she met with Dale a few times in 2007 but did not tell police, because they did not ask.

Immediately after the Hodson murders, there were the allegations Gobbo was the conduit. Although, she said she didn't know "anymore than anyone else did" about the circumstances until much later on.
"As events unfolded with people making statements and briefs of evidence being served and more and more information becoming public."
In 2003-04, Gobbo did not know Williams had been involved in some murders that he had been involved in. As time went on, it became apparent to her.

Gobbo said she stopped using the phone "because it ran out of credit".
Okay

Gobbo said that at some point, late in one day, she had a meeting with Azzam Ahmed, an ecstasy dealer.
Winneke: "Are you aware of Azzam Ahmed informing on or passing information to Haynes, to the effect that she might need, or she ought to secure herself, an alibi at the time where a murder of Terry Hodson was being planned?"
Gobbo: "I have heard that, but I can't remember when."
"You're aware she had been told by Azzam Ahmed that it was going to happen and it was likely for her to be public when it was going to happen?"
"Yeah, I just can't remember when or how I learned of that. It might have been reading a statement. I just can't remember, sorry. I remember talking about it to a friend of mine, who isn't connected to this or a lawyer, and saying how furious I was that me thinking that that meal that night had nothing to do with anything was just unplanned and spontaneous was actually him using me behind my back and how disgusted I was."

Sorry, the *she referred in the last post refers to Abbey Haynes, an associate of Ahmed.

Winneke: "It's been suggested that in some way you were involved in information reports concerning Hodson to Tony Mokbel, what do you say about that?"
Gobbo: "No, I didn't. There were information reports floating around prior to that incident back then."
I'm not sure what incident she's specifically referring too

Gobbo was asked questions about if clients, such as Mokbel, was aware of Hodson's status as an informer: "The extent of knowledge in the criminal world about him being an informer was significant."

"As time progresses from through 2004 to the lead up to September 2005, my mindset back then was 'I'm out of my depth, really stuck, I need to find police, they're the people that can sort this out and they're the people I need to talk to', and unbeknownst to me that was the plan by them the year before. That's what happened," Gobbo said.

Winneke now wants to take Gobbo through a series of questions, but it is referring to some names we cannot mention, so it's going to be a bit more cautious updating from here until he's done.

Gobbo initially spoke to one of the witnesses on two occasions, once on reprimand and subsequent to his arrest (for murder, I believe).
I believe they are referring to a time she visited a witness at the police station right after he had been charged. Handlers and investigators were concerned about her being there, taking issue with the fact that she might reveal her identity.
Later, she would appear for the other arrested person. Police wanted to interview him in relation to the double murders. Four days after that, Williams was arrested in relation to threatening to kill an officer, Bateson, and his partner.
Gobbo attended the police station to listen to those tapes.
She appeared for Williams on a remand hearing the following day

In December 03, she then attended his daughters christening - just a month after representing him.
Winneke accidentally said November 04 and meant 03, and Gobbo was quick to correct him. She's a lot sharper than she led on in all those applications to avoid giving evidence.

"You're not giving me a chance to explain that, but yes," is Gobbo's reply to one of Winneke's questions

In 22 March 04, Gobbo spoke to Bateson about the witness and his preparedness to assist police in their investigations into the murder of Moran and Barbaro.
Gobbo does not dispute this.
When she spoke to Bateson, Gobbo was aware he would implicate Carl Williams - Winneke suggests this, but Gobbo "cannot be sure". The likely answer is yes, she said, but likely because of the way Williams had behaved up until that point to others; to try to not convince them to talk to police.
Gobbo accidentally dropped a name she shouldn't have in all of this and the commission quickly went to erase that from the transcripts.

On a number of occasions thereafter, Gobbo had discussions with people about her potential conflict in acting for another witness, while at the same time speaking and representing Williams.
Gobbo discussed this with Bateson and another person who cannot be mentioned. At least, we don't think we can mention this person or its pseudonym. I think even the commission is confused about what name we can and cannot use now.

In late April, there's an entry in her court book which suggests a meeting with a senior crown prosecutor. She notes something along the lines of 'do I have a conflict'.
Gobbo said she felt she did have a conflict: "It was a subject of conversations and not outside of my contemplation I had a conflict. I couldn't work out a way of getting away from [that person] in a way that didn't involve what he was doing to everyone else."

There's some concern over whether or not we can use pseudonyms for two witnesses, and media are being advised to seek our own legal advice.

Winneke: "If you were so concerned you would have taken that opportunity [to walk away] like a flash."
Gobbo: "I don't want to argue with you because it's not that simple. After I recovered the ability to speak again, I was told my neurologist that he couldn't necessarily ascertain how much damage the stroke had done unless I was doing the same regular incidents.
"I'm not offering this as a cop out excuse, because I genuinely agree with your proposition."
So... she snitched on her clients because it was doctor's orders? Is she serious?
But she said she couldn't because she had financial issues, because she put acting for "these people" ahead of her interests and that no one put her in the direction of helping someone. She said she did not have a family member to turn to at the time either.
"If it happened now, it would be a different story than it would be now."

Gobbo: "Regrettably, because of the impact all of this has had on my life and the lives of my children and family, is that I didn't feel I could walk away and let people down. I felt trapped and should have could have is the nice way to put it now, but it happened. And do I regret it? Yes, every day."

The commission has now concluded with Gobbo's evidence. She will resume again at 9.30am tomorrow morning.



 

Crimewavex

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Who are the people sitting behind Winneke who want to get on tv despite many empty other chairs available
They are lawyers assisting who sit back and take notes, pass notes to assist and run errands/find files.

Someone I know is one of the lawyers for Overland and sits behind him/in the background making notes and watching the commissioner to see if she is paying attention.
 

Crimewavex

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It's a bit patchy but these live blogs often have little gold nuggets in them.

Lawyer X Evidence - Day 2

Good morning!
The Lawyer X royal commission is resuming with Nicola Gobbo again today. She is expected to give evidence until approximately 1.15pm - but note that yesterday we concluded at 2.15pm due to her starting late.
Yesterday was a big day for the royal commission. Gobbo pointed to Victoria Police and its officers - namely corrupt cop Wayne Strawhorn and detective Peter De Santo - as "master manipulators". She said she was petrified of them on a number of occasions.

The commission is resuming in a private hearing, so updates will be a lot slower until further notice.
The commission is arguing whether or not part of Gobbo’s evidence should be heard in public or private hearing.
"The story is the story,” is Winneke’s argument, but there’s a lot of push back happening with other counsels.

The evidence will be in public "as much as possible" so we should be moving on and back to the usual soon.

We have just received Gobbo's statement to this commission. From the outset, she says that she has "always wanted to assist" this commission but that her health "has made it exceptionally difficult to do so".

Winneke is asking about a pill operation in a house that was the subject of investigation by the NDID, led by Paul Dale.

This 15 minute delay is such a pain - but be sure to stick around, we have some pretty heavy admissions from Gobbo coming very soon.

Gobbo knew Paul Dale because she had been involved in matters where he was the detective. He was the crew of the drug squad that Gobbo understood to be in charge of MDMA, so she had drafted a number of bail applications in matters that he was involved in.
She had also cross-examined him at some point, and it was quite antagonistic.
Keep in mind that Paul Dale would be found to be corrupt and dealing in drugs with Victorian underworld criminals. Gobbo was later asked to appear as a witness against him, following a time in which she recorded a conversation with him while wearing a wire.

Gobbo knew of the existence of the ethics committee - and had actually been referred to it in relation to a client at one stage - but did not seek advice.
"In hindsight, there's a lot of things I would have done differently," Gobbo told the commission

Back to De Santo: Gobbo received an "out of the blue" call from De Santo, who was aware she had acted for Andrew Hodson.
He asked her to put him in touch with Terry Hodson. At that stage, Gobbo was aware that Hodson was an informer: "It was a well known fact."

"In retrospect, I shouldn't have," Gobbo said about why she represented a client. "I wanted to help [Peter De Santo]."

"Isn't your first responsibility to your clients, not to the police?"
"Yeah, correct," Gobbo said.

"Do you believe you acted inappropriately?" Winneke asked.
"Looking back, there were a lot of things that were, at best, confusing and at worst, yes totally inappropriate."

"I was also wrong because I was doing the solicitor job as well as a barrister, which I shouldn't be doing," Gobbo added.
When asked if she knew it was wrong at the time, she said: "Of course I did. I don't want to come across as making excuses but where my mind was then was obviously quite different how I can look at it from this point of my life."
"Where was your mind then?" Winneke asked, pointing to her law degree and ethical courses. "What's the explanation?"
"It was a combination I think. It was a desire to want to help De Santo and, I know it sounds pathetic, but to live up to his expectations of were of me. I was also being pushed in the background by Tony Mokbel who wanted to find out as much as he could about what police did or didn't know, I didn't know it was his operation but I learned that over time. He wanted to know how much the police knew, Dale wanted to know if Tony wanted to kill him....
"I felt pressure from all around. And you're right, I should have walked away from it all."

"You knew what you were doing was wrong," Winneke put to her.
"I'm not trying to make excuses, I don't want to come across that way. Emotionally, where was my head? Completely different to where it is now. Could I see my way out of the forest back then? No. And was I accumulating information and on one level trying to impress people around me, yes I was."

We're back to asking about Dale now.
Winneke is asking about a time where Gobbo was "blind drunk" and inviting Paul Dale to stay over with her. She said she was drunk to the point of blacking out, "for the second time in my life"

"He was absolutely paranoid and his view was that my telephone was being intercepted by police," Gobbo told Winneke about Dale.
Yesterday she said it was a practice for police to intercept the phones of solicitors, right before she began informing for them for the second time - so Dale's suspicions aren't totally unfounded I suppose.

Gobbo continued to communicate with Dale up until he was arrested. He actually rang her the night he was arrested for advice. Gobbo then rang Tony Mokbel.
She said she "would have" given him advice. She cannot recall specific details of what was said, but she doesn't believe Dale would have needed to ask anything specific about what to say or what to do.
But, in any event, he called her in her capacity as a lawyer.

Gobbo said she was convinced by a detective to hand over documents re. Paul Dale

"There was a lot of encouragement and requests by [detectives] to have them," Gobbo said. She accepts she should not have handed them over as they were provided to her in her capacity as a lawyer.

"Partly not knowing whether they would come in handy at some point. Over time, I accumulated an enormous amount of drug squad chronologies that I would put in my computer, and eventually it would match up," she said on why she kept certain notes.

"Going forward, part of the reasons why what happened and what put me on the path that I ended up in 2005 is because of being so far off the white track and out of my depth and out of control in 2003 and 2004," Gobbo said

Tony Mokbel dropped Gobbo at the airport in about 2003-2004. She said she was not with him at the time, but that she was living in an apartment that was not too far from his address.
Apparently, their carparks were interlinked so he could always tell if her car was home or not. That's terrifying. (Me: Really?)
At the suggestion of whether he was with Gobbo during the night, she was really dismissive about it - so definitely a no. It needed to be asked though, Winneke's suspicions could have been right on the money.
"For the record, I have never spent the night in Tony's apartment ever, nor him with me ever," she said.

Gobbo said a name or a pseudonym she wasn't supposed to, which goes back to the argument this morning.
So we're just trying to confirm whether to go into private hearing or if we just avoid that subject until later.

I assume we're moving on with it anyway, but there may be quite a few redactions so we're going to be wary with the updates.
The person who cannot be named or referred to in any way really, called her to tell her Moran had been murdered. Police wanted to confirm she had spoken to this mysterious person and what it was in regards to.

Delays ....

Winneke is suggesting she is complicit in the murders of the Hodsons.
"Rubbish and lies," Gobbo says

I will be providing a complete rundown of these allegations very soon.

Winneke: "It was just wrong, you shouldn't have done it."
Gobbo: "Yes. And I was fortunate that I ended up in hospital when it did because it took me out of the equation in relation to a couple of people.

The pseudonyms are all over the place, so we're having some issues in the media at the moment.
I think we're moving onto another pseudonym. When he comes up in relation to this murder story later, please note names will be changed. Also details around this will be heavily redacted to protect his identity.
It's a bit of a mess really.

Update: We're still waiting for the commission to resume.

In the meantime, check out some quotes from Gobbo's statement:
"I was interviewed recently for the ABC programme, 'The 7.30 Report'. My purpose in participating in that interview was to try to improve my circumstances.... It was only meant to last a couple of hours on one day."

"I understand that many police officers who have given evidence called by Victoria Police have had access to material and have ample time to prepare in advance of their evidence. I am in a very different position. It has been anything but procedurally fair."
"The media coverage, which at times has been inaccurate, has caused significant damage to me, both physically and mentally. Consequently, my nerve pain, PTSD, severe anxiety and depression have become worse."
(Gobbo isn't getting any sympathy from me fyi - it's a consequence of informing on your own clients...)

The commission has resumed. First update in 15 minutes

Winneke is asking about Louis Moran and Gobbo's representation of him
Moran was murdered in March 2004. Three people were ultimately convicted in relation to that murder, one of which turned out to be a main witness in another trial of another of the co-accused.

[Scheduled before my last update]
We're slipping back into referring to witnesses as 'that person' to avoid identifying anyone and it's becoming quite confusing keeping up.
Whoever 'that person' is was convicted for the murder of Moran and went on to be a witness for Taskforce Briars. Gobbo provided a draft statement to police in 2009 in relation to her association with David Waters and others who were suspected in that murder.

One of the people accused of the murder confessed to Gobbo.
"Last year, my solicitors contacted me in the location I was in and asked me if I could read a copy of that draft statement and what I could say about its accuracy," Gobbo confirms.

The statement was taken on a laptop (police were typing) and there was some issue over whether or not Idles would include the material from SDU or what information they had or didn't have from there.
Idles was in two minds about what needed to go into the statement. It was left as a draft statement that had substantial gaps in it, pending a conversation with Sandy White.

Gobbo made several requests from two officers about what happened to that statement and what to come of it "but no one could assist me". The first time she saw a copy of it was when it was given to her solicitors last year in the course of this commission.
Gobbo said she learnt of this statement when it was reported in the Herald Sun. She really did learn a lot about this through the media, no wonder she's so concerned about it

Gobbo was asked in 2009 to cast her mind back and provide as much information as she could about her knowledge of David Waters, a corrupt detective, and other people who the police named in the statement.
One of them was the person she cannot identify, but we sort of vaguely maybe mentioned in a couple posts back. We need new pseudonyms...

Gobbo said she has never seen nor signed the final version of the statement

I have to be cautious with these next few updates as she is talking about 'that person' again and the circumstances around him, so things may be a little bit slower.

Gobbo may have told 'that person' something that caused him to "get ahead of the game".
I think "getting ahead of the game" is referring to a murder, so what a weird way to use that phrase. But also, cannot be sure because everyone is now talking in codes again.

Ms Gobbo keeps getting concerned that her image of commissioner Margaret McMurdo is blurry.
Can someone let her know that no one but McMurdo can see her and it's actually not really important if the image is blurry?

The evidence is a total "legal minefield" and counsels have already called out one person in this media room.

Next update at 10.04 - there was a bit of a delay. It is to do with her being called up as a witness, and it's quite compelling.

Idles told Gobbo not to be a witness as Overland would "burn him" and said "not to trust him".
Gobbo said it is the way she interpreted it, to note.
"It wasn't given in a nasty fashion, I interpreted it as kind of fatherly advice to not to trust Overland."

In 2012, Gobbo was writing letters to police requesting to be a witness - so a major turnaround from asking to be kept out of the proceedings.
"This was at a time when--post the settlement, my civil action, in 2010. From early 2011, despite the terms of the settlement, I was by harassed by Boris Buick within 48 hours of my mother dying, of him saying I was going to be called as a witness against Paul Dale and I needed to go into witness protection."
She said there were a number of discussions in 2011 in relation to whether or not she could have been called to give evidence in circumstances in which the matters before this commission would not be made public.
"All kinds of people had all kinds of crazy suggestions. One of them was completely ridiculous because I kept saying if I give evidence, all of this would come out."
One of the crazy suggestions was to have Dale's barrister to tell them what questions he wanted to ask and to ensure that he didn't ask anything that would reveal any of her informing.
"I nearly fell off--I was just shocked at how stupid it was. I remember telling my then-solicitor and him writing letters."

"[It was] after a whole year of being harassed by Boris Buick and being introduced to witness protection people. And more lies and rubbish about things that I was told will happen or not happen," Gobbo said

"I was very concerned about actually being called because I had been served as a witness summons to attend court," Gobbo said
Nathwani just jumped up, and McMurdo criticized he and Winneke for talking over each other.
Gobbo is speaking about a meeting with the DPP. At the end of September 2010, she said she thought it was the end of the "nightmare" and she "could try to get on with my life" and improve her health.
Then her mother got sick and she died in February 2011. A couple days later, Buick starts harassing her about being a witness. There are some meetings with him throughout 2011 and with solicitors from DPP, as well as witness protection people.
By the date of the committal due to start - and the night before - Gobbo was told that Graham Ashton had spoken to the Commonwealth Director and that she was not going to be called as a witness.
Gobbo said it was a relief.

Now we're moving onto her requests for a reward.
To refresh, she allegedly asked for tickets to Vegas to see Celine Dion. I may have the timing wrong, she could have asked for it earlier in her informing, but I wanted to bring that back up again.

One of the issues of me being called as a prosecution witness was the potential for all of this to come out. I can't remember who solicitor 1 spoke to in particular, I can't remember now who he spoke to. But one of the issues was whether the production of magazine that Dale had scribbled on that day would assist the prosecution without me giving evidence."

Gobbo kept the magazine. She didn't know where it was until her most recent house move after she gave evidence in later years.

Overland was "very keen" to prosecute people and was keen to have Gobbo be a witness. In effect, it would not be in Gobbo's interest as it would uncover a lot of her informing with the Source Development Unit.

She said she told the police (or the "people who were purportedly looking after me") that she couldn't be a witness without disclosing her role.
"By the time I have this conversation, he's meeting with Idles. In my mind, I'd resigned myself to the fact that it appeared there was no way any of it was going to be held back."

Gobbo said that at times, when there were recordings between herself and officers, the officers would pause and write something down to show her. This was with the intention of hiding the fact that they were asking her for specific things.
This really puts some of those recordings into perspective...

We're back to asking about 'that person', so updates will again slow down until we move on to something a lot less risky.

Gobbo was involved in trials of various stages. The one Winneke is asking about refers to 'that person' again.
I think she's saying she wasn't involved in it? Everything is really confusing with this particular person.

Winneke: "Has it ever been suggested you were with Mokbel at around the time money was handed over to the Briars witness with respect to that murder?"
Gobbo: "No. Having read the statement that witness made.... just garbage that's in it, that's not corroborated by anything, I wouldn't be surprised he said something like that."
Winneke: "Do you know why it's written in your logbook?"
Gobbo: "It's something he would have said or asked that caused me to write that down. It looks like a question of 'was Mokbel in Queensland or not as of the 31 March 2004'."

"Different handlers worked differently. Some took incredibly detailed notes, very specific, and some didn't. I don't know who it was that I was talking to at that particular occasion. Sometimes that asked a lot of questions and sometimes they didn't ask many at all. I don't want to have the impression be wrong, that is I'm trying to hide something," Gobbo said of why she wrote particular notes down

As often is the case with my handlers, I didn't know something was as valuable as it was at the time and investigators don't necessarily tell you that."

Winneke is asking about Gobbo's relationship with Paul Dale.
She accepts that she had a line of communication with him and would often use a phone that was not in her name. She accepts she acted as a conduit between Carl Williams and Paul Dale; as in, she made sure they stayed in touch.
There was one night where she was speaking to Dale and Williams rang her. When Dale heard her answer the phone, he asked to speak to Williams and she handed over the phone. Gobbo said she does not know if it was on more than one occasion.

This was around May 2004.
There was an allegation that Paul Dale met with Carl Williams around early may, and the murder of the Hodsons occurred a couple weeks later. There were allegations made that Gobbo was the conduit to foster a meeting between the two.
Gobbo said she understands the allegations.
"I don't want to just guess, but my recollection was there was some conversation with one of them about where Dale was going to be or where Williams was going to be on a particular day or week, and they managed to find each other in that.

Gobbo said she can recall having meetings with the Petra Taskforce in 2007 about these allegations. She did not give information about it to her handlers, or anyone else.
She was asked by her handlers, quite specifically, about all the phones she was using, but she did not tell them about the number she used to talk to Dale. (Me: wow)
She said she was not in a position to tell them, because she did not have the phone at that time. At some point, she did tell them she was using false phones, but she was unsure when.
Winneke suggests it happened after she was confronted with evidence from police.
Gobbo said she isn't sure: "Whenever I was asked something specific, and as time went on, I'm not disagreeing with you, but what I would say is that when time went on, the detail I provided them was in far great specificity than at the beginning. The first couple of debriefings were 'tell me everything you know'. And then they would come back and sometimes ask specific things about specific people."
For example, she met with Dale a few times in 2007 but did not tell police, because they did not ask.

Immediately after the Hodson murders, there were the allegations Gobbo was the conduit. Although, she said she didn't know "anymore than anyone else did" about the circumstances until much later on.
"As events unfolded with people making statements and briefs of evidence being served and more and more information becoming public."
In 2003-04, Gobbo did not know Williams had been involved in some murders that he had been involved in. As time went on, it became apparent to her.

Gobbo said she stopped using the phone "because it ran out of credit".
Okay

Gobbo said that at some point, late in one day, she had a meeting with Azzam Ahmed, an ecstasy dealer.
Winneke: "Are you aware of Azzam Ahmed informing on or passing information to Haynes, to the effect that she might need, or she ought to secure herself, an alibi at the time where a murder of Terry Hodson was being planned?"
Gobbo: "I have heard that, but I can't remember when."
"You're aware she had been told by Azzam Ahmed that it was going to happen and it was likely for her to be public when it was going to happen?"
"Yeah, I just can't remember when or how I learned of that. It might have been reading a statement. I just can't remember, sorry. I remember talking about it to a friend of mine, who isn't connected to this or a lawyer, and saying how furious I was that me thinking that that meal that night had nothing to do with anything was just unplanned and spontaneous was actually him using me behind my back and how disgusted I was."

Sorry, the *she referred in the last post refers to Abbey Haynes, an associate of Ahmed.

Winneke: "It's been suggested that in some way you were involved in information reports concerning Hodson to Tony Mokbel, what do you say about that?"
Gobbo: "No, I didn't. There were information reports floating around prior to that incident back then."
I'm not sure what incident she's specifically referring too

Gobbo was asked questions about if clients, such as Mokbel, was aware of Hodson's status as an informer: "The extent of knowledge in the criminal world about him being an informer was significant."

"As time progresses from through 2004 to the lead up to September 2005, my mindset back then was 'I'm out of my depth, really stuck, I need to find police, they're the people that can sort this out and they're the people I need to talk to', and unbeknownst to me that was the plan by them the year before. That's what happened," Gobbo said.

Winneke now wants to take Gobbo through a series of questions, but it is referring to some names we cannot mention, so it's going to be a bit more cautious updating from here until he's done.

Gobbo initially spoke to one of the witnesses on two occasions, once on reprimand and subsequent to his arrest (for murder, I believe).
I believe they are referring to a time she visited a witness at the police station right after he had been charged. Handlers and investigators were concerned about her being there, taking issue with the fact that she might reveal her identity.
Later, she would appear for the other arrested person. Police wanted to interview him in relation to the double murders. Four days after that, Williams was arrested in relation to threatening to kill an officer, Bateson, and his partner.
Gobbo attended the police station to listen to those tapes.
She appeared for Williams on a remand hearing the following day

In December 03, she then attended his daughters christening - just a month after representing him.
Winneke accidentally said November 04 and meant 03, and Gobbo was quick to correct him. She's a lot sharper than she led on in all those applications to avoid giving evidence.

"You're not giving me a chance to explain that, but yes," is Gobbo's reply to one of Winneke's questions

In 22 March 04, Gobbo spoke to Bateson about the witness and his preparedness to assist police in their investigations into the murder of Moran and Barbaro.
Gobbo does not dispute this.
When she spoke to Bateson, Gobbo was aware he would implicate Carl Williams - Winneke suggests this, but Gobbo "cannot be sure". The likely answer is yes, she said, but likely because of the way Williams had behaved up until that point to others; to try to not convince them to talk to police.
Gobbo accidentally dropped a name she shouldn't have in all of this and the commission quickly went to erase that from the transcripts.

On a number of occasions thereafter, Gobbo had discussions with people about her potential conflict in acting for another witness, while at the same time speaking and representing Williams.
Gobbo discussed this with Bateson and another person who cannot be mentioned. At least, we don't think we can mention this person or its pseudonym. I think even the commission is confused about what name we can and cannot use now.

In late April, there's an entry in her court book which suggests a meeting with a senior crown prosecutor. She notes something along the lines of 'do I have a conflict'.
Gobbo said she felt she did have a conflict: "It was a subject of conversations and not outside of my contemplation I had a conflict. I couldn't work out a way of getting away from [that person] in a way that didn't involve what he was doing to everyone else."

There's some concern over whether or not we can use pseudonyms for two witnesses, and media are being advised to seek our own legal advice.

Winneke: "If you were so concerned you would have taken that opportunity [to walk away] like a flash."
Gobbo: "I don't want to argue with you because it's not that simple. After I recovered the ability to speak again, I was told my neurologist that he couldn't necessarily ascertain how much damage the stroke had done unless I was doing the same regular incidents.
"I'm not offering this as a cop out excuse, because I genuinely agree with your proposition."
So... she snitched on her clients because it was doctor's orders? Is she serious?
But she said she couldn't because she had financial issues, because she put acting for "these people" ahead of her interests and that no one put her in the direction of helping someone. She said she did not have a family member to turn to at the time either.
"If it happened now, it would be a different story than it would be now."

Gobbo: "Regrettably, because of the impact all of this has had on my life and the lives of my children and family, is that I didn't feel I could walk away and let people down. I felt trapped and should have could have is the nice way to put it now, but it happened. And do I regret it? Yes, every day."

The commission has now concluded with Gobbo's evidence. She will resume again at 9.30am tomorrow morning.


Very patchy day, lots of suppression orders to get around whilst doing everything possible to stay in public hearing.

the issues annoying revolve around Keith Faure & the other issues is Brincat & Hentschnel, there seems to be something around their killing of Michael Marshall that is redacted.
 

sprockets

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Most explosive revelation related to the vampire gigolo murder of Shane Chartres-Abbott suggesting a police officer doctored a statement she made by inserting a confession from a key suspect.

That's so shocking.

 

Snake_Baker

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The Unicornia Reactants
View attachment 811145

Let's take this one step further.

Were there people who KNEW an "underworld" plot to kill someone was in play and DID NOT act on it?

If so...............that's a crime.
;)

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Watch this space.
 
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skipper kelly

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If the hierarchy is prosecuted they will have to go for Dale again?
Prior to the week before Xmas everything was being pointed towards the handlers and the recruiters. That has changed now with testimony prior to this week exposing the true extent of knowledge and personalities.
 

Redacted

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Nobody seems to of twigged to the significance of this story yet.
Or have you?
Tell me why this old story is extremely significant, and I'll tell you if your right.

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What did Nicola say yesteray about being a witness in a federal court case?

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