24 September 2012

Integrity czar asks nicely for jailed drug baron to spill his guts on race fixing

Victoria's Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna has wound up his month-long inquiry into race fixing with an extraordinary stunt, "inviting" convicted jailed drug baron Tony Mokbel to spill his guts from the gaol cell. In an uninformative interview on TVN's Racing Review yesterday Perna told Bruce Clark:
"I just felt whenever anybody talks about criminal activity in racing, eight out of 10 times Tony's name comes up and I just thought it was worth testing. 
"I don't know if he was going to ever say yes or no but I wanted to test that, so the verbal approach went and now there's a more formal approach with a letter just saying to him that the invitation still stands and if he feels that he'd like to talk to me I'd be happy to go down there."
What? Send Mokbel a letter? Happy to go down for a fireside chat, if Fat Tony has the time?

If nothing else this farce underlines Perna's impotence. With no power to subpoena witnesses or hear testimony under oath, this toothless tiger charged with safeguarding the game's integrity is off writing letters to banged up crims, on a whim, just hoping for the best.
Perna had earlier told the media he would not require Mokbel to identify individuals. "I will not be asking him to dob in anyone,'' he said. No, heaven forbid. That would never do.
Perna said his report was "about four weeks away", give or take a couple of weeks for the odd tilt at windmills.

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