Escaping ‘Mokbel cartel’ drove Lawyer X to turn snitch
The high-profile lawyer who revealed the secrets of her gangland clients to police said she turned informer to rid herself of the "Mokbel cartel".
The lawyer - now known as Lawyer X - claimed she helped in the arrest and charging of at least 386 people, including playing a pivotal role in solving several underworld murders.
In a Court of Appeal judgment that can only now be reported, Lawyer X said she became an informer in part because "She was frustrated at the Mokbels' capacity to use lawyers to control others around them and with being stood over by criminals."
"She agreed that her sole motivation in becoming an informer was to rid herself of the Mokbels or, as she described them, the Mokbel cartel. She wanted to get the 'Mokbel monkey' off her back."
Lawyer X began working as a registered police informer from 2005, when she hit her "breaking point" in her dealings with Mokbel.
She details her frustrations in a section of the court judgment:
"My breaking point came when I was threatened by Tony Mokbel to ensure that a first-time offender who was operating pill presses and manufacturing tens of thousands of MDMA pills for him, kept his mouth shut and pleaded guilty after he was arrested," she said.
"Although Mokbel did not actually say that his underling was being financed and supplied by him, it became obvious to me when I was provided with a remand summary and later a brief of evidence by Police.
"This kind of scenario had happened numerous times in circumstances in which I was dealing with high-level drug syndicates, all of whom had individuals who were the targets of police investigations and many of which were involved, directly or indirectly with the gangland murders."
Lawyer X says she convinced the key informer in several of Melbourne's gangland war slayings to "roll over" on underworld boss Carl Williams, while "withstanding undue pressure from the Williams' crew (and Tony Mokbel) to try to get him to stay silent".
"His actions (in becoming a witness for police) created a precedent for others to follow and was the crack in the dam wall of silence that lead to a flood," Lawyer X said.
"He laid the foundation for the prosecution of numerous murderers and others followed his example."
That witness went on to give evidence that would lead to convictions for the 2003 murders of Jason Moran and his friend "Little Pat" Barbaro outside a children's footy clinic in Pascoe Vale, and the shooting of Michael Marshall in front of his young son in South Yarra later that year.
On being asked to provide Victoria Police with a 'top ten' significant cases or arrests during her time as an informer, Lawyer X listed:
The Tomato Tins case, in which Pasquale Barbaro, Rob Karam, bikie boss John Higgs and others involved in what was a world record ecstasy bust in 2007;
The brothers of drug baron Tony Mokbel - Horty and Milad - and their associates including drug cooks and money launderers for their enterprise;
Key gangland informer Witness B, who would go on to make many important statements on gangland killings and drug activities;
Faruk Orman, the getaway driver for the murder of Victor Peirce in 2002; and
The activities of the 'Carlton Crew', whose members at the time included Mick Gatto, Mario Condello and Graham Kiniburgh.
She also claims she is responsible for more than $60 million in seized assets and hundreds of kilos of cocaine and other drugs being intercepted by Australian Customs officials.