NEW PLOY TO CUT JAIL – Wednesday August 15 2012

– Drug lord Tony Mokbel is making yet another desperate bid to dodge his 22-year jail term, this time citing the Australian Constitution.
Mokbel, 46, lodged an appeal yesterday against his conviction on major drug trafficking charges despite the fact he pleaded guilty in return for other counts being dropped and for a more lenient sentence.
It is believed Mokbel’s lawyers will argue in the Court of Appeal that his extradition from Greece in 2008 was unconstitutional and he should never have been brought back to Australia to face justice.
The underworld king was facing seven different trials for drug manufacturing when he struck a plea with prosecutors last year to plead guilty in three cases.
He admitted trafficking large commercial quantities of methamphetmine and MDMA, and inciting and undercover policeman to import a commercial quantity of MDMA. The case was delayed for nearly 18 months while Mokbel launched a number of challenges to the validity of warrants issued to investigators.
Mokbel also tried to change his guilty plea but his bid was refused in the Supreme Court.
It is also believed that Mokbel will lodge an appeal against his 22-year minimum term, arguing his sentence exceeded a range agreed between the prosecution and defence legal counsel.
Mokbel will claim sentencing judge Justice Simon Whelan failed to take into account of his poor health and properly consider how long he spent in custody awaiting the outcome of the proceedings.
Last month, Mokbel’s legal team said the fact that Mokbel faced an extraordinary large number of proceedings after he was extradited was not recognised by Justice Whelan in his sentence – Norrie Ross


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