Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Witness in gangland conviction could have inf -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ELEANOR HALL: In Melbourne there's speculation that yesterday's guilty verdict in a gangland murder
trial could strengthen the case against police officers accused of corruption.

Hitman Evangelos Goussis was convicted of shooting underworld patriarch, Lewis Moran, in 2004.
Goussis was found guilty on the strength of evidence from a secret witness, and there is
speculation that same witness could have more secrets to tell and that they could involve police
and corruption.

In Melbourne, Jane Cowan reports.

JANE COWAN: It's the sub-plot to the story of Melbourne's gangland; the idea that police working
alongside underworld figures can themselves cross the line into criminal conduct.

Corruption allegations against one serving and one former police officer that they were involved in
the 2003 murder of a male prostitute called Shane Chartres-Abbott remain unresolved.

The taskforce set up to look into them was allegedly sabotaged by tip-offs from inside the police
force. No charges have been laid against the police and the allegations are unproven. But that
could be about to change.

The man who's evidence has just been used to convict Evangelos Goussis of murdering Lewis Moran has
previously pleaded guilty himself to killing Shane Chartres-Abbott and he is reportedly already
pointed the finger at police, accusing them of involvement in the crime.

John Silvester is the award-winning crime reporter who wrote the book that inspired the commercial
television series Underbelly.

He has told Fairfax Radio the fact that the secret witness' evidence has helped successfully
convict Evangelos Goussis of the Moran murder shows his evidence is being accepted at trial, which
could lend credibility to his other claims about the involvement of police in the Chartres-Abbott
murder. The secret witness is codenamed "JP".

JOHN SILVESTER: If Goussis had been acquitted of the murder of Lewis Moran, the implications would
have been that the evidence of JP was not believed.

JANE COWAN: Neither Victoria Police nor the union representing officers wanted to comment on what
the Goussis case might mean for allegations of corruption levelled at police.

But the former corruption investigator, Simon Illingworth, is willing to talk.

SIMON ILLINGWORTH: You've got a witness that's obviously got through to the jury in this particular
murder so whilst the goodwill, I suppose, doesn't carry on and, you know, a former murderer/witness
is not particularly good. It is no bank manager or school teacher.

You would have to say that he must be fairly impressive in the witness box and additionally the
police have probably got some corroborative evidence as well.

JANE COWAN: And this case shows that claims he makes are being given some weight?

SIMON ILLINGWORTH: Well that's the thing, I think when you have a person who is a murderer. They
have known over the years how to cover their backside and also most of the time they don't really
trust each other, so they've always got something on other people, and you will find that sometimes
that these people actually not only will give evidence but they will produce evidence as well.

JANE COWAN: What bearing do you think all of this could have on allegations of corruption against

SIMON ILLINGWORTH: Well there could well be some fairly wide ranging allegations coming out that,
well first of all that we wouldn't have heard of before that are completely unknown, and also these
sort of people shed or can shed a great deal of light on suspicious activities of all sorts of
people, including police.

ELEANOR HALL: And that is former corruption investigator, Simon Illingworth. Jane Cowan with our