News Crime Tony Mokbel has drug conviction overturned

Tony Mokbel has drug conviction overturned

tony mokbel
Tony Mokbel is pictured in 2012 after being jailed for 30 years for drug trafficking. Photo: AAP
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Drug kingpin Tony Mokbel has had a cocaine importation conviction overturned because of his snitching gangland lawyer Nicola Gobbo.

Victoria’s Court of Appeal on Tuesday quashed a conviction for importing a commercial quantity of cocaine in 2000.

Mokbel famously fled to Greece while standing trial as the financier behind the importation operation, and was convicted in his absence in March 2006.

He was sentenced to 12 years behind bars over that import. The sentence began after the bewigged fugitive was captured in a Greek coffee shop and extradited back to Australia.

tony mokbel appeal
A mugshot on Mokbel, released by Greek police in 2007 after his arrest. Photo: AAP

Mokbel remains behind bars, still serving sentences on numerous other convictions, which he is also appealing.

Court of Appeal President Chris Maxwell said the court would decide at a later date whether it would order Mokbel to face a fresh trial over the allegations.

But Commonwealth prosecutors have revealed even if the court orders a retrial on the charges, they will not go ahead with a fresh trial.

Prosecutor Rowena Orr said Mokbel had already served his sentence on the charge and they would discontinue the matter.

The decision to overturn the conviction came after Commonwealth prosecutors conceded Ms Gobbo had been a registered informer while representing him.

Nicola Gobbo spent years as a Victoria Police informer, in what has become known as the Lawyer X scandal.

She was registered by Victoria Police for her third stint as an informer in September 2005.

Ms Gobbo continued to represent Mokbel in the case until March 2006 when he disappeared first to Bonnie Doon and then via a yacht overseas.

Justice Maxwell on Tuesday described the conduct of Ms Gobbo and those who facilitated her wrongdoing as “disgraceful”.

“These are matters of profound importance,” he said.

Mokbel remains behind bars.