A known gangland figure is believed to have ordered Carl Williams’ prison slaying to stop the Melbourne underworld boss speaking to authorities.
Police were planning to visit Williams in Barwon Prison in April 2010, when he was bashed to death, the ABC’s Four Corners program reported on Monday.
They wanted to see if he would implicate criminal Rocco Arico in the unsolved murder of Williams’ bodyguard Richard Mladenich in 2000.
Authorities suspect Arico knew this and ordered Williams’ murder, with security failings allegedly facilitating the killing.
One of Williams’ cell-mates, who cannot be named, was reportedly an associate of Arico’s and was in phone contact with him at the time.
“If I had have known that, of course I would have been concerned,” former detective senior sergeant and now police union secretary Ron Iddles told the ABC.
Williams’ father George said Williams was “pretty good mates” with Arico, and would have known his secrets.
“They used to venture out together and do a lot of things together,” he said.
George said detectives wanted to probe his son about underworld murders, after Williams made allegations to police over the 2004 slayings of police informant Terence Hodson and his wife Christine.
Williams alleged he organised a hit man to kill Mr Hodson, at the request of former Victorian police detective Paul Dale.
“It’s obvious… not only Rocky (Arico)… it’s a lot of other people too that would assume if Carl’s talking about Dale he’d be talking about them,” George said.
Mr Dale and convicted hit man Rodney Collins were charged with the Hodson murders in 2009, but the charges were dropped the following year when Williams was killed.
Both deny any involvement.
Fellow prisoner Matthew Johnson received a life term for repeatedly bashing Williams with a steel pipe from an exercise bike in the unit they shared.
Arico, who served eight years in jail for shooting and kidnapping a man, reportedly denies any involvement in Williams’ death.
A 2012 Ombudsman’s report was severely critical of Corrections Victoria’s handling of Williams, whose death was not noticed for 27 minutes.