'Lawyer X' Police Informant Revealed As Gangland Barrister Nicola Gobbo
The identity of Lawyer X, whose information helped convict gangland criminals and drug traffickers, has been revealed as prominent criminal barrister Nicola Gobbo.
A court order suppressing her identity has been enforced for years, but it was lifted at 4.15pm on Friday.
It can now be revealed that Lawyer X, whose information to police led to the conviction of dozens of criminals, is prominent criminal barrister Nicola Gobbo.
She came to prominence in Melbourne's gangland wars after testifying how she had worked to pass messages between her criminal clients.
She acted for prominent criminal identities including Carl Williams and drug kingpin Tony Mokbel -- but at the same time she was feeding police information about her own clients.
Fellow gangland lawyer Zarah Garde-Wilson played a key role in exposing the scandal.
"If they're willing to throw the rule book out just in relation to these gangland matters who's not to say they've done it in other non-related proceedings," he said.
Faruq Orman is one of the criminals whose case has been potentially tainted.
He was sentenced to 20 years for his role in the murder of underworld figure Victor Pierce, and has always maintained his innocence. Nicola Gobbo was his barrister.
"She actively worked with Vic Pol to set up evidence against clients.
To feed back defence strategy to prosecutors so that they knew how to fix up a case. What she did was debase the entire process from the day of charge to the day of trial," he claimed.
She was set to appear as a witness in the case of former policeman Paul Dale, accused of corruption in 2011, but claimed she had received death threats for her cooperation. Gobbo had worn a wire to record a conversation with Dale in 2008.
The police informant scandal is now the subject of a royal commission and opened a window of appeal for some of Victoria's most serious criminals including drug lord Mokbel.
The royal commission's scope was widened after police revealed Lawyer X -- also known as informer 3838 or "EF" -- was first recruited in 1995, not 2005 as previously thought, and other people who held obligations of confidentiality were also used as informants.
After years of court battles, her identity was revealed despite fears held by Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton for her safety.
The Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne had been among those fighting for the lawyer's identity to be released and the suppression order lifted.
Media lawyer Justin Quill said it is hard to say what the fallout from the scandal will be.
"It could range from people walking free to no effect whatsoever. It's too many cases and too many variables to speculate how it will flush out," he told reporters on Friday.
Quill said the scandal was a serious blow to the integrity of the legal system.
"This has had an almost devastating impact on our legal system and the trust that people have got in it -- not just the barristers and solicitors that appear in our courts, but also our police," he said.
"Especially when the revelation came out that this was not just one rogue person, but there were potentially other informers.