#AceNewsReport – Feb.11: Underworld figure Tony Mokbel remained in a critical condition in a Melbourne hospital on Monday night after being stabbed at Victoria’s maximum-security Barwon Prison in the afternoon: Another prisoner, 31, was attacked and was taken to hospital in a serious condition, a Corrections Victoria spokesperson said #AceNewsDesk reports
- Mokbel was sentenced to 30 years’ jail in 2012 for drug offences
- The attack happened in the same prison in which drug kingpin Carl Williams was murdered
- The Victorian Government says the incident will be fully investigated
Barwon Prison houses the state’s most dangerous offenders, and was where gangland killer Carl Williams was bashed to death with part of an exercise bike in 2010: The Sunday Herald Sun reported that Mokbel had emerged as a “powerful enforcer” in the prison, and had disrupted an extortion racket being run by Pacific Islander inmates.
Mokbel, sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2012, was the mastermind behind an elaborate drug syndicate known as The Company: He was arrested in Greece in June 2007, 15 months after fleeing Melbourne while on bail during a trial on cocaine importation charges.
A Victoria Police statement said emergency services were called to the prison, in Lara southwest of Melbourne, following reports of a stabbing about 3:45pm on Monday: The ABC understands Mokbel suffered three stab wounds.
Aerial vision showed Mokbel, 53, bare-chested and wearing shorts, being worked on by paramedics on a pathway before being transferred to an air ambulance and flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital: Mokbel was conscious when the air ambulance landed at the hospital and could be seen shaking the hand of a paramedic as he was wheeled inside on a stretcher…………………..While his condition was initially listed as serious, it was later revised to critical and he remained that way late into Monday night.
A Victorian Government spokesman said the incident would be fully investigated: “All violent incidents in custodial facilities are investigated and there will be a full review of this incident,” the spokesperson said……..“As this is currently an ongoing police investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Opposition police spokesman David Southwick said the Government had questions to answer: “A maximum security prison … is meant to have the kind of processes in place and security in place to ensure that these situations don’t occur…………“There has clearly been a failure here and the Government has questions to answer in terms of how this actually happened.”
Mokbel’s lawyer acted as police informer
Mokbel was recently in the headlines after it was revealed that his barrister, known as Informer 3838 or Lawyer X, was acting as a paid informant and was passing information to Victoria Police about her clients.
Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd QC, has written to 20 criminals — including Mokbel, whose convictions may have been affected by Victoria Police’s use of the barrister as an informant: The Victorian Government has called a royal commission into Victoria Police’s management of informants.
The inquiry was widened last week after it emerged that the barrister was registered as a police informant 10 years earlier than originally disclosed, and that five other lawyers had been registered as informants.
Mokbel fled in 2006 while on trial for drug trafficking, and hid in Bonnie Doon in northern Victoria before being driven to Western Australia, where he set sail on a yacht, hidden in a secret compartment with its own toilet: The yacht sailed across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal and on to Greece.
Even while in hiding in Greece, Mokbel continued to run his drug syndicate, organising the trafficking of $4 million worth of speed: Despite being disguised in a wig, he was arrested by Greek police in a cafe in a seaside suburb of Athens in June 2007.
In sentencing Mokbel in 2012, Supreme Court Justice Simon Whelan said Mokbel had an extensive history of drug offences but had never been a drug user himself: He said Mokbel’s interest in drug trafficking arose out of a “destructive gambling compulsion” in the early 1980s.
A trial in the Supreme Court heard that in 2005 Mokbel used three pill presses to make more than 100,000 ecstasy pills, and that he was meticulous in perfecting the quality of the drugs: Mokbel was facing seven separate drugs trials, but as part of a plea deal four drug investigations were dropped.
In ordering Mokbel to serve a minimum jail term of 22 years, Justice Whelan said he took into account that Mokbel had a heart condition, and that a doctor’s assessment was that his life expectancy could be 24 years or less.