Mob boss to appeal conviction because of ‘snitch’ lawyer
Mob boss Rocco Arico wants his drug dealing convictions quashed after it was revealed his lawyer was caught up in the Lawyer X scandal.
It has been revealed Arico is planning an appeal against his convictions after learning slain mafia lawyer Joe "Pino" Acquaro was one of six informers recruited by Victoria Police.
He hopes Acquaro's involvement as a police informer will secure him an early get out of jail card.
Arico, who is suspected of being a big wheel in the Calabrian mafia, is serving a 12 year jail term over extortion, drug dealing and gun charges.
He was sentenced to 14 years in jail, with a minimum of 10, in 2017 but successfully appealed that term.
He has already failed a bid to overturn his convictions in both the Victorian Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia.
Arico is expected to face deportation back to Italy when he is released from prison.
There are moves in the Supreme Court to seize millions of dollars of assets authorities believe to be the proceeds of crime.
They include Arico's family home in Moonee Ponds and a Safety Beach property.
But his lawyer told the Supreme Court on Wednesday there would be an application to stay those proceedings pending the completion of the Lawyer X Royal Commission and determination of Arico's appeal.
The appeal would be "based on the fact he was represented by a solicitor who was feeding information back to police," he said.
It has been revealed Arico's former lawyer, Acquaro, was in regular contact with detectives until executed by a gunman outside his Lygon St restaurant in March 2016.
Acquaro worked closely with Lawyer X, particularly while representing mob boss Pasquale Barbaro - leader of the 32-strong mafia-led syndicate that imported 15 million ecstasy pills in tomato tins from Naples to Melbourne in June 2007.