Police ‘sorry’ for delayed Lawyer X documents despite locating many of them months ago
Secret tapes have revealed gangland lawyer Nicola Gobbo was angry with police for compromising her safety early in her most productive period as an informer.
- In a recorded conversation with a police officer, Ms Gobbo expressed anger about the way information she passed on was shared
- Victoria police tried to restrict media access to the tapes and requested officers’ voices be altered
- Commissioner refused the police request, saying “it is imperative that the public be informed, of as much as possible, of what occurs in the hearing”
A recording from 2006 was played at a royal commission examining the way police used Ms Gobbo to inform on her clients.
The conversation is one of many police recorded as Ms Gobbo lifted the lid on her underworld clients between 2005 and 2009.
She had told her police handlers, from the secretive Source Development Unit, about an allegedly corrupt officer taking money from one of her clients.
Ms Gobbo was disappointed that information had made its way to the police Ethical Standards Department.
“Repeatedly I’ve chucked ethics out the window, I’ve chucked legal professional privilege out the window, I’ve chucked my career out the window if any of this ever came out,” Ms Gobbo said in the released recording.
“Forget about — I wouldn’t even be covered by insurance.
“I would be so f****d it’s not funny, and I can’t tell you those things if you’re gonna pass it on that specifically.
“You can’t do it, not that amount, not the, not the specific of it or you can, but not to idiots.”
In the recording, a police officer, who is giving evidence to the royal commission under the pseudonym Sandy White, denied her accusation.
“Well … I didn’t pass it on to … I can guarantee you that,” Sandy White said in the recording.
Victoria Police today tried to restrict media access to the tapes, arguing the identities of the police officers who met with Ms Gobbo might be revealed.
It called on the commission to alter the sound of the police officers on the tapes before releasing them, but the commissioner Margaret McMurdo ruled the tapes should be released as recorded.
“The nuances of the conversations, which could be highly relevant to understanding the nature of the relationship at the time between Ms Gobbo and the various relevant officers of Victoria Police, would not be as well understood by the public,” she said.
“It is imperative that the public be informed, of as much as possible, of what occurs in the hearings of this commission on this topic so that community confidence in Victoria Police’s practice in the handling and management of human sources, who are subject to legal obligation of confidentiality or privilege, is restored.”