Drug kingpin’s win after Lawyer X saga

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Jailed Melbourne drug kingpin Tony Mokbel will be eligible for parole in less than a decade after Victoria’s Court of Appeal reduced his prison sentence.

Mokbel, 57, launched a bid for re-sentencing after a 2006 conviction for cocaine importation was quashed due to the Lawyer X scandal.

He successfully appealed the conviction in 2020 after it was revealed his lawyer, Nicola Gobbo, was a police informer.

On Tuesday, Justices Karin Emerton, David Beach and Stephen McLeish slashed Mokbel’s 2012 sentence on three counts of drug trafficking.

He had been sentenced to 30 years’ jail with a minimum term of 22 years, however this was varied to a total of 26 years with a non-parole period of 20 years.

Mokbel was re-sentenced after one of his previous drug convictions was quashed. Picture: Supplied.Mokbel was re-sentenced after one of his previous drug convictions was quashed. Picture: Supplied.

Handing down the decision, Justice Emerton said the panel took into account Mokbel had served more than five years on his quashed conviction.

The panel also took into account the increased burden of incarceration during Covid-19 and a brutal 2019 prison stabbing which left the inmate in a coma for 24 days.

The court heard Mokbel had made a “remarkable” recovery but custody management process put in place after the attack meant he was spending 20 hours alone in his cell most days and has limited social contact with other inmates.

During a hearing last month, his barrister Julie Condon KC said he continues to suffer a traumatic brain injury stemming from the attack, and was hospitalised in March and April last year for heart attacks.

The offending he was re-sentenced on related to two plots in 2005 to import a total of more than 130kg of MDMA into Australia and a later attempt to smuggle more than 41kg of methamphetamine between 2006 and 2007.

Mokbel was extradited from Greece in 2008 after fleeing the country for 15 months while on bail for the drug trafficking.

He will be eligible for parole in less than nine years.

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