Worries 'Lawyer X' fed info to crime boss

A royal commission has heard evidence of concerns Nicola Gobbo was working as a double agent.
A royal commission has heard evidence of concerns Nicola Gobbo was working as a double agent.

Turncoat criminal barrister Nicola Gobbo's police handlers were warned in the mid-2000s she was trying to "suck information" about them to feed back to criminal networks, it's been revealed.

A royal commission into police use of informers has been told the supergrass 'Lawyer X' was believed to be scouting information on police technology, including on how trackers worked, to pass back to drug kingpin and crime boss Mohammed Oueida.

Oueida had been described as the "new Tony Mokbel".

Former gangland taskforce detective and now Superintendent Jason Kelly gave evidence on Thursday after admitting concerns dating back to 2006 that Ms Gobbo was acting as a double agent.

Barrister Geoff Chettle, who is representing members of the police Source Development Unit who handled Ms Gobbo, quizzed Supt Kelly about her connections with the underworld.

"She wasn't just a barrister, she was involved intricately with criminals and their behaviour ... as such you were concerned about whether or not she was effectively trying to suck information about the handlers and feed it back to the criminal cohorts," Mr Chettle suggested.

Supt Kelly agreed and elaborated on his concerns, which stemmed from information in 2006.

"On two separate occasions, one year apart, I received intelligence from two different sources that suggested that perhaps Ms Gobbo was providing information back to criminal entities or established criminal networks," he said on Thursday.

The officer was unable to recall any specific intelligence being passed to him by the SDU handlers about Oueida, who spent several years behind bars for drug trafficking.

Oueida suffered serious injuries when shot in the stomach in 2017.

Supt Kelly also told the commission one suspected reason behind death threats Ms Gobbo received in the mid to late-2000s was the fact a number of her clients received reduced sentences because of their co-operation with police.

It was revealed on Wednesday one of the threats came from a phone falsely registered in Supt Kelly's name, while four death threat text messages came from a phone falsely registered to another task force detective.

He agreed with Mr Chettle's claim Ms Gobbo had "good reason to be scared" of the people police were investigating at the time.

Australian Associated Press