News State Victoria News Ex-Vic cop boss Simon Overland ‘evil, corrupt, dishonest’

Ex-Vic cop boss Simon Overland ‘evil, corrupt, dishonest’

Simon Overland was chief commissioner between 2009-2011, and previously held other senior roles. Photo: AAP
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“Evil, corrupt and dishonest” is how turncoat lawyer Nicola Gobbo describes former Victoria Police boss Simon Overland.

The woman who sparked Victoria’s Lawyer X royal commission has unloaded on the former chief commissioner during a recorded phone call about the scandal.

When asked to describe what she thought of Mr Overland’s conduct, Ms Gobbo replied “evil, corrupt and dishonest”.

She told the commission she had never met the former police boss who set up the force’s gangland-busting Purana task force, but said he knew about her informing.

“Can you descend to a little bit more detail?” counsel assisting Chris Winneke QC asked Mr Gobbo during the conversation in March, the transcript of which was released on Monday.

“I was always led to believe that he was well aware of my informing and that he was a huge supporter and encourager of it,” Ms Gobbo replied.

“There were often circumstances in which I was – would say to my handler, whichever handler I was with at the time … ‘Are you sure, are you sure you know what you’re doing’?’

“And each and every time they would say to me that their bosses had approved of it and … Simon Overland was specifically aware of what I was doing and that he had approved of it.”

Barrister Nicola Gobbo was used as a police informer between 1995 and 2009.

The royal commission is looking at how Ms Gobbo gave police information about her gangland clients on-and-off, in an official and unofficial capacity, from the mid-90s until 2012.

Three transcripts of her phone conversations with the commission have been released ahead of a looming deadline for her to give evidence in real-time.

She has been ordered to do so via phone from January 29, but royal commissioner Margaret McMurdo has said she does not expect Ms Gobbo to follow through.

The commission cannot force Ms Gobbo to talk, but can recommend criminal charges against her for failing to comply with an order.