GOBBO ANDTHE HITMEN

LINK TO AUS­KICK GANG­LAND KILLERS

Herald Sun - - FRONT PAGE - AN­THONY DOWSLEY AND PA­TRICK CARLYON

NICOLA Gobbo spoke to one of the men be­hind the in­fa­mous ex­e­cu­tion of Ja­son Mo­ran an hour be­fore the hit.

Phone records show the man who sup­plied the guns for the hit, dubbed “The Ital­ian”, called Gobbo at 9.33am on June 21, 2003, an hour be­fore Mo­ran and body­guard Pasquale Bar­baro were shot in front of Mo­ran’s chil­dren at an Aus­kick clinic.

Call logs ob­tained by the Her­ald Sun show Gobbo and “The Ital­ian’’ com­mu­ni­cated reg­u­larly in the week lead­ing up to the dou­ble mur­der, in­clud­ing a call at 11.52pm the night be­fore.

Le­gal sources would later spec­u­late Gobbo knew the hit — or­gan­ised by the Mo­ran fam­ily’s un­der­world neme­sis Carl Wil­liams — was about to take place. De­tails of the calls also prompted spec­u­la­tion among lawyers that Gobbo may have helped plan an alibi for “The Ital­ian” and close friend Wil­liams, in­volv­ing blood tests in Prahran as part of a diet reg­i­men.

“I’m con­fi­dent she knew what was about to hap­pen,’’ a le­gal source said. “It was so ob­vi­ous to me she was in with these peo­ple. She was in up to her neck with all these heavy-duty crim­i­nals and I just couldn’t work out why.

“It is the re­la­tion­ship with (‘The Ital­ian’) that links her to the mur­ders.’’

The brazen pub­lic ex­e­cu­tions of Mo­ran and Bar­baro, at the Cross Keys Re­serve, Essendon, thrust Mel­bourne’s bloody gang­land war into the na­tional spot­light.

A con­tracted gun­man opened fire about 10.35am on June 21, af­ter ap­proach­ing the mini-van Mo­ran was sit­ting in.

The masked man, who can­not be named, used a shot­gun to blast Mo­ran in the driver’s seat, then pulled out a re­volver to shoot dead Bar­baro, who was in the pas­sen­ger seat.

Mo­ran’s twin chil­dren were among five Aus­kick kids in the back of the van who saw the hor­ri­fy­ing at­tack.

Call charge records in­di­cate the gun sup­plier talked to Gobbo at length on June 14, a week be­fore the hit, fre­quently on the Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day be­fore the at­tack and for about 10 min­utes late on the Fri­day night.

Af­ter get­ting off the phone with Gobbo in the early hours of the ex­e­cu­tion day, “The Ital­ian” had at least three calls with the hitman.

Call logs sug­gest both men had been up through the night.

“The Ital­ian” also tried to call Wil­liams, who ul­ti­mately pleaded guilty to or­der­ing the hit. The phone records were con­tained in ev­i­dence which was to be used in Wil­liams’ prosecutio­n, but were never aired be­cause of his plea. When the calls were ex­am­ined, it was spec­u­lated Gobbo was in a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship with “The Ital­ian” and had helped de­vise his alibi.

On July 4, 2003, less than a fort­night af­ter the Mo­ranBar­baro mur­ders, Gobbo es­corted “The Ital­ian’’ to a po­lice in­ter­view, where he gave his alibi.

Po­lice re­ports re­veal he told anti-gang­land de­tec­tive Sergeant Stu­art Bate­son he had gone with Wil­liams to Vic­to­ria House, a med­i­cal clinic in Prahran, at the time of the hit.

He said he picked up Wil­liams about 9am at the house of Wil­liams’ mother, “Barb”, be­fore they trav­elled via Ci­tyLink to the clinic.

Sgt Bate­son noted in an in­for­ma­tion re­port also ob­tained by the Her­ald Sun that “The Ital­ian” had spo­ken to Gobbo by phone twice on the morn­ing of the mur­ders.

He also noted the phone con­ver­sa­tions were “con­firmed by Gobbo’’.

The in­for­ma­tion re­port does not spec­ify the time of the calls.

Gobbo’s con­nec­tions with the Wil­liams crew led the anti­gang­land Pu­rana task­force to con­sider tap­ping her phone.

Soon af­ter, she be­gan giv­ing in­for­ma­tion to Sgt Bate­son, in a pre­cur­sor to her most in­volved pe­riod of in­form­ing to po­lice.

The sup­plier of the guns se­cured a heav­ily dis­counted jail term over his role in the Mo­ran-Bar­baro ex­e­cu­tions af­ter Gobbo helped make him a su­per­grass.

The Lawyer X royal com­mis­sion has also un­cov­ered that Gobbo was al­lowed by po­lice to read and edit state­ments by “The Ital­ian”.

AUS­KICK EX­E­CU­TION

PAT BAR­BARO

JA­SON MO­RAN

The scene at Cross Keys Re­serve (top left) where Ja­son Mo­ran (above) and Pasquale Bar­baro (left) were shot; Carl Wil­liams (far left).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.