Authorities Failed To Recognise Safety Risk To Tony Mokbel Before Jail Stabbing
Prison authorities failed to properly assess the risk to drug kingpin Tony Mokbel's life before he was stabbed in a maximum-security Victorian jail.
The safety assessment did not fully comply with Corrections Victoria policy and was "relatively brief", a summary released on Thursday into the February 11 attack reveals.
But Barwon Prison staff did recognise there was a risk to Mokbel and consulted with him and other prisoners, albeit briefly.
Mokbel was left fighting for his life just a day after the Herald Sun published a story stating the "prison big wig" disrupted an extortion racket run by Pacific Islander inmates.
"The response of Corrections Victoria to this media report resulted in a decision made that the article presented little risk to Mr Mokbel," the report summary states.
The 53-year-old was repeatedly stabbed with a shiv during a 21st birthday party for another inmate at Barwon Prison.
He suffered a brain injury and cognitive impairments in the attack.
Mokbel spent weeks in hospital undergoing rehabilitation for injuries that medical experts said would have been fatal without quick intervention.
Former NSW judge David Ipp QC and former Commissioner of Queensland Corrective Services Mark Rallings headed the independent review.
The report also considered lessons from the killing of underworld boss Carl Williams in jail, who had been beaten to death a day after a Herald Sun front-page story about him.
He found Williams' attack to be "so distinguishable that references to the facts and comments in the reviews following his death would not be helpful" in the Mokbel case.
The reports also commended staff for their quick response to the attack.
The report made 15 recommendations to Corrections Victoria which have all been accepted. The state government had also accepted one recommendation made to it.
Corrections Minister Ben Carroll said work was already underway to implement the recommendations.
The full report cannot be made public due to information within it which may jeopardise prison security and intelligence gathering among the risks.