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One of the ‘most destructive and tumultuous periods’ in Victoria Police history may begin today

Over the next two weeks a slew of current and former top cops are set to front the Lawyer X royal commission.

Neil Mitchell says today may mark the start of a huge shift in our police force.

“Today could begin one of the most destructive and tumultuous periods in the future of Victoria Police,” he said.

“This week is going to be extraordinary and next week will compound that.”

The 3AW Mornings host says the future of many top cops is in doubt.

“The High Court savagely criticised Victoria Police over their handling of Nicola Gobbo as an informer. It said, in a judgement, Victoria Police was guilty of ‘reprehensible conduct’ and ‘atrocious breaches of sworn duty’,” he said.

“Surely a finding of reprehensible conduct and atrocious breaches of sworn duty means anybody involved in the decision-making faces real doubts around their future.”

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, who is set to retire in June next year, is in the witness box today and tomorrow.

“If this goes badly for him I think he could be forced to go early,” Neil Mitchell said.

Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius and former Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones will address the royal commission later this week, and former chief commissioners Simon Overland and Christine Nixon will appear next week.

Neil Mitchell says he expects what Sir Ken Jones has to say will be of particular interest.

“I think Sir Ken Jones might be the key. He was deputy commissioner and he left the force and the country under a cloud after falling out with Simon Overland,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“Why? What happened? What did Ken Jones know about this Gobbo business and what did he say to Simon Overland and others? He was on the outer but he was an insider.

“If there are skeletons, and they’re hidden in a cupboard somewhere, he will know.”

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Image: Vince Caligiuri / Stringer

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