A royal commission will be established in Victoria to look at the recruitment of police informants after news that a lawyer reported on her clients.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to hold a press conference into the matter shortly.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton will also issue a statement at 3pm.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called a royal commission into a gangland lawyer
Drug lord Tony Mokbel could be released amid a scandal involving his lawyer
He has told media he will refuse to answer questions at the press conference.
Mr Andrews said the decision of the High Court released today called into question whether some convictions had occurred fairly and in accordance with law.
‘The integrity of the criminal justice system is paramount and all people charged with crimes are entitled to a fair trial, no matter who they are,’ he said.
Mr Andrews said that while these events took place many years ago, the public had the right to know that every part of the justice system acts fairly and lawfully at all times.
The royal commission will provide an interim report by July 1 next year and a final report by December 1.
The decision by the lawyer, who can only be referred to as Informer 3838, saw some of Victoria’s biggest villains wind up in jail.
It could also now see dozens of bikies and mobsters released from prison.
The lawyer was registered as a police informer on 16 September 2005, and remained registered until at least 12 January 2009 (pictured: Barbaro Pasquale)
The bombshell revelations can finally be revealed after years of court-imposed gag orders protecting the lawyer were lifted.
The lawyer, who acted for gangsters including dead crime boss Carl Williams and Tony Mokbel, began working for police in mid-2003 when she met approximately six times with a Detective Sergeant of the Purana Taskforce, which was investigating Melbourne gangland crime.
The bombshell revelations can finally be revealed after years of court-imposed gag orders protecting the lawyer were lifted (pictured: left to right John Higgs, Rob Karam and Saviero Zirilli)
The lawyer, who acted for gangsters including dead crime boss Carl Williams and Tony Mokbel, began working for police in mid-2003 (pictured: Frank Madafferi)
It is understood hundreds of notifications are being sent by the Director of Public Prosecutions to criminals who were represented by or had dealings with the lawyer.
The revelations could have huge implications over the convictions of everyone from Mokbel to Mafia head Pat Barbaro.
The lawyer is understood to have been asked to provide a ‘Top 10’ of crooks she helped to bring down.
It is understood hundreds of notifications are being sent to criminals who were represented by or had dealings with the high-profile gangland lawyer (pictured: John Higgs)
It is understood hundreds of notifications are being sent to criminals who were represented by or had dealings with the high-profile gangland lawyer (pictured: Pasquale Barbaro under police surveillance with drug syndicate henchman, Jan Visser)
Who the lawyer gave information about
Karam, Higgs, Pasquale Barbaro and 33 co-accused for the largest ever seizure of ecstasy in the world
Tony, Horty and Milad Mokbel
Self-proclaimed vampire Shane Chartres-Abbott
Mick Gatto and the Carlton crew
The list contains a swag of colourful Melbourne identities, including major drug traffickers Rob Karam and John Higgs and Tony Mokbel and his brother Milad.
Barbaro was pinged in the infamous $440 million ‘Tomato Tins’ drug sting in 2007 which saw 32 Mafia figures jailed.
It is a case the gangland lawyer was keen for the gangsters to remain in the dark about her role in their convictions.
The tomato tins used by the Mafia to import drugs into Australia
Boxes of tomato tins used by the Mafia to bring in drugs
A gangland lawyer who went undercover for police to snitch on her own clients could see dozens of bikies and mobsters released from prison
Victoria Police are believed to have arrested hundreds of people based on the information provided by the informer, with millions of dollars more taken in property and asset seizures.
The lawyer allegedly turned on her clients after becoming disillusioned with Victoria Police’s inability to lock-up crooks.
The High Court’s was scathing in its description of the fiasco.
In a decision published this morning, the court was critical of the lawyers alleged behaviour.
‘(The lawyer’s) actions in purporting to act as counsel for the Convicted Persons while covertly informing against them were fundamental and appalling breaches of EF’s obligations as counsel to her clients and of EF’s duties to the court,’ it stated.
‘Likewise, Victoria Police were guilty of reprehensible conduct in knowingly encouraging EF to do as she did and were involved in sanctioning atrocious breaches of the sworn duty of every police officer to discharge all duties imposed on them faithfully and according to law without favour or affection, malice or ill-will.’