Tony Mokbel leaves Melbourne Magistrates’ Court with his lawyer, Nicola Gobbo.
Tony Mokbel leaves Melbourne Magistrates’ Court with his lawyer, Nicola Gobbo.

Mokbel tried to blackmail Gobbo with ‘sex tapes’

Drug kingpin Tony Mokbel used sex tapes to blackmail barrister turned police informer Nicola Gobbo, Supreme Court documents reveal.

An Information Report (IR) states Gobbo - also known as Lawyer X - told her police handlers in 2008 that Mokbel, who she represented, had tried to blackmail her over a "sex tape".

The IR, based on discussions with her Victoria Police handlers, reveal Gobbo was also concerned Mokbel would spread false rumours that: "I slept with him, I took drugs with him, laundered money (and) passed on sensitive ESD documents".

The Royal Commission into Lawyer X also heard that in the early 2000s detectives from the now defunct drug squad were aware that Gobbo had a relationship with Mokbel that was "outside the normal lawyer/client relationship" and that she would meet with him in the "late evenings or early morning",

Gobbo represented Mokbel throughout the early 2000s on his various drug matters. But unbeknown to the drug lord, Gobbo was informing on him and other members of his criminal cartel.

 

Tony Mokbel leaves Melbourne Magistrates’ Court with his lawyer, Nicola Gobbo.
Tony Mokbel leaves Melbourne Magistrates’ Court with his lawyer, Nicola Gobbo.

 

One batch of information reports reveal that Gobbo stayed in constant contact with Mokbel after he was arrested in Greece in mid 2007, after he fled Australia from a 2006 cocaine trial.

In one phone call, after Gobbo's car was firebombed in 2008, Mokbel called the barrister saying that he believed she was attacked because she broke someone's heart.

"He said it seemed obvious someone that she had broken someone's heart deeply and he asked who that could be,'' the information report says.

"He told her to make sure she tells the police that she has broken someone's heart."

The information reports were contained in court documents as part of a protracted civil battle between Victoria Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Victoria Police attempted to stop the DPP notifying 20 criminals that Gobbo's informing may have made their convictions unsafe.

 

READ THE FULL LAWYER X SERIES

 

Nicola Gobbo. Picture: Ian Currie
Nicola Gobbo. Picture: Ian Currie

 

The case was appealed to the High Court of Australia, which ruled Victoria Police's conduct was "reprehensible" and granted the Herald Sun permission to finally reveal Gobbo's identity.

The state government also called a royal commission into her informing.

On Wednesday that royal commision heard evidence from former drug squad detective Martin Allison - now a Victoria Police inspector - said in the early 2000s he was given information Gobbo had an unusual relationship with Mokbel.

"Ms Gobbo seemed to have a relationship with Mokbel that was outside the normal lawyer-client relationship.''

"I never observed it but I received information. I'm not sure where it came from, that the relationship extended beyond business hours.

"They would regularly meet at various places in Melbourne, mostly in the early hours of the morning late evening."

At the time - between 1999 and mid 2001 -Mokbel was the main target of a major drug squad investigation dubbed Operation Kayak - which was led by disgraced drug squad detective Wayne Strawhorn.

Mokbel was the main target but Carl Williams, Lewis Moran and members of Mokbel's family were also arrested and charged as part of the probe targeting major Victorian drug manufacturers.

 

Underworld figure Tony Mokbel in 2011. Picture: AAP
Underworld figure Tony Mokbel in 2011. Picture: AAP

 

The inquiry had also heard evidence that detective's Strawhorn official police diary had an entry that he met with Gobbo about Operation Kayak and Tony Mokbel in December 2000, before charges were laid against her client.

Inspector Allison said he found it "unusual" a senior drug squad investigator would meet with a barrister before charges were laid and at the time of the meeting the investigation was at a crucial juncture.

"That was when things were really moving quickly and evidence gathering was reaching its peak of momentum."

Strawhorn, who was later sentenced to seven years in prison for trafficking drugs to gangland figure Mark Moran, said he could not recall the December 2000 meeting.

Inspector Allison said at the time he was aware Gobbo was "ingratiating" herself with members of Victoria Police and there were rumours she had a relationship with former drug squad detective Paul Dale.

"I vaguely recall there may have been rumours around a relationship Ms Gobbo may have had with Paul Dale back in those times. I was aware Ms Gobbo was ingratiating herself with police."

Mr Dale was later accused of the murder of police informer Terry Hodson in 2004. Gobbo had secretly recorded a conversation she had with Mr Dale which was going to be used in his trial.

Murder charges were dropped against Mr Dale in 2010.

james.dowling2@news.com.au



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