Mokbel conviction quashed over Lawyer X

The Court of Appeal has quashed one of drug kingpin Tony Mokbel's convictions over the Lawyer X scandal.

In a surprise move in court on Tuesday morning, Justices Chris Maxwell and David Beach set aside Mokbel's conviction for importing a commercial quantity of cocaine.

Mokbel, 55, is still serving time on other drug charges.



The Commonwealth conviction was quashed after the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions conceded Mokbel's leave for appeal should be granted and the conviction set aside.

Rowena Orr, lawyer for the Commonwealth, said the director would not pursue a retrial.

"The director has already determined in this matter to not conduct a retrial," Ms Orr said.

"Given that the applicant has served his sentence, the director has made that determination."

Mokbel's lawyer Ruth Shann told the court the conviction should be set aside due to the involvement of gangland barrister and police informer Nicola Gobbo, dubbed Lawyer X.

Between September 16, 2005, and March 21, 2006, Ms Gobbo was acting as a police informer and representing Mokbel for charges he was facing over Operation Paddle, Ms Shann said.

A slimmed-down Tony Mokbel, wearing a black suit and tie, appeared via video link from the Melaleuca unit in Barwon prison. He was serving a 35-year sentence for a number of drug-related charges.

The court is now dealing with Mokbel's appeal on his state-based drug trafficking charges.

More to come.

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