Faruk Orman, who was acquitted of murder over Victoria Police's use of Lawyer X Nicola Gobbo, is now suing the state for damages over wrongful imprisonment.
Faruk Orman, who was acquitted of murder over Victoria Police's use of Lawyer X Nicola Gobbo, is now suing the state for damages over wrongful imprisonment.

Freed Lawyer X client suing the state

Faruk Orman was acquitted of murder over Victoria Police's use of gangland lawyer Nicola Gobbo as a police informer and now wants the state to pay up.

Mr Orman spent 12 years behind bars for a role in the 2002 underworld murder of Victor Peirce that he's always denied.

Victoria's Court of Appeal quashed his conviction last July because of a "substantial miscarriage of justice" caused by the force's reliance on Ms Gobbo, the informer also known as Lawyer X.

Mr Orman has filed documents in the Supreme Court, seeking damages from the state.

The lawsuit, first flagged in the days after his release, claims he was the victim of false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and that Victoria Police breached a duty

It also argues Victoria Police failed to exercise reasonable care for Mr Orman's safety and for failing to properly supervise, control or train employees, officers and/or agents of Victoria Police.

Mr Orman was arrested in May 2008 and accused of being the getaway driver for the murder of Mr Peirce by hitman Andrew "Benji" Veniamin.

He was convicted in 2009 based on a prosecution case that relied heavily on the word of another of Ms Gobbo's clients.

A successful petition for mercy pushed Mr Orman to the head of the appeal court's queue of former Lawyer X clients, including some of Australia's most infamous gangsters.

Drug lord Tony Mokbel is one of four with appeal applications on foot.

State and federal prosecutors have told 40 people their convictions might have been tainted by Ms Gobbo's connection to their case.

"Many people will think I have come out of prison bitter and angry. I haven't," Mr Orman said after his release.

Court of Appeal President Chris Maxwell said Ms Gobbo's conduct subverted Mr Orman's right to a fair trial and went to the foundations of the criminal justice system.

The state has forked out for wrongful convictions before, including in the case of Melbourne man Farah Jama who received $525,000 in 2010 for 18-months spent behind bars after a wrongful rape conviction.

A royal commission into Victoria Police's use of Ms Gobbo as an informer has identified more than 1200 people whose cases may have been affected between 1997 and 2010.

Originally published as Freed Lawyer X client suing the state



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