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‘This is the tip of the iceberg’: Neil Mitchell says more gangland figures likely to appeal over Lawyer X concerns

Neil Mitchell says the granting of the right to appeal to one of the Nicola Gobbo’s former clients marks the beginning of trouble for Victoria Police.

“The whole sad situation created by Victoria Police is unravelling,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“This, to me, is the beginning.

“This is the tip of the iceberg.

“The Lawyer X mess has got the capability of ending careers, of freeing crooks, of wasting millions and millions of dollars.”

A lawyer for Faruk Orman, who was yesterday granted the right to appeal his conviction due to a possible miscarriage of justice involving Nicola Gobbo, says the case is unprecedented.

“This has never happened. I don’t know of a case like this happening in the western world,” Lawyer Ruth Parker told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Mr Orman has spent the past 12 years in jail for his role in the 2002 murder of career criminal Vincent Pierce.

A jury found Mr Orman drove the getaway car used in the murder.

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy yesterday referred Mr Orman’s case to the Court of Appeal, saying she was “satisfied there is credible evidence” that Ms Gobbo’s dual role as Mr Orman’s lawyer, and also a police informer, may have led to a miscarriage of justice.

Mr Orman is the first client of Ms Gobbo to have his case appealed, however Ms Gobbo is believed to have handled around 1000 cases in her career, so there are fears many others may have grounds to appeal.

But Mr Orman’s lawyer said his case is unusual.

“He’s a stand alone case in that he has maintained his innocence, he pleaded not guilty, and he didn’t have the kind of multiple proceedings that we know that others did have,” Ms Parker said.

Ms Parker criticised Victoria Police for being slow to provide the relevant documentation required to pursue Mr Orman’s appeal.

“Everybody involved in this Lawyer X scandal, representing affected persons, has been hamstrung by the lack of disclosure by Victoria Police,” she said.

“It has taken months for us to be able to obtain evidence that we didn’t have and put it into the context of the evidence that we did have at the time of the trial.”

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