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ACN 007 395 048
June 6th 2000

TO/ ACCC – Victoria,
Regional Director, Tom Fahy
Level 35, The Tower
360 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne Centre
Melbourne VIC 3000
(GPO Box 520J, Melbourne VIC 3001)
Tel: (03) 9290 1800
Fax: (03) 9663 3699

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wish to complain about the illegal restraint of trade our company Kotabi Pty Ltd is facing as a result of unlawful actions by the Victorian Government Solicitor (VGS). Their actions violate the trade practices act, which we understand that you regulate.

In June this year he faxed and wrote all major booksellers and told them not to sell two of our book titles. The action was in contempt of a court judgement dated 18 April 2000.

Our company is suffering greatly as are many other retailers who sell the relevant books.

Please can you:-

1/ Order that the VGS remove their unlawful threats and
2/ Direct that they pay us monetary compensation for damages incurred so far.

A more detailed account of the sequence of events follows:-

This is something author Raymond Hoser and publisher Kotabi were not meant to find out – you’ll see why shortly.

The exact origins of this latest saga are not entirely certain, but we have a few facts that are not in dispute – so we’ll run with these.

In late 1999, Adam Anthony Zoccoli – a convicted extortionist issued a writ against Raymond Hoser and his publisher Kotabi claiming defamation in the book Victoria Police Corruption. The claim was defended by both Hoser and publisher.

Zoccoli was described in the book as a man who sought payment from one or more victims he helped set-up on drug charge/s. The monies sought were so that Zoccoli would arrange with bent police to sabotage the charges and get the victim off. The victim identified in the book was Salvatore Marabito (then) of Greensborough.

Further details in relation to the Zoccoli writ and his past can be found at:-

However these actions are not directly relevant to our immediate complaint and/or what we seek you to do.

On 16 February 2000 Zoccoli wrote to Ms. E. Carnovale of the Victorian Attorney General’s Department seeking Attorney General Rob Hulls to charge author and publisher with "contempt of court".

On 8 March 2000, Zoccoli was sent a reply from Rob Hulls himself that gave a non-committal response.

In early 2000 Zoccoli sought an injunction from the Victorian Supreme Court to ban sales of the book. He was backed by an unlikely coalition including the Victorian Ombudsman’s office, from which Mr. Brian Hardiman made a sworn statement to assist Zoccoli’s case.

On 18 April 2000, Justice Gillard refused Zoccoli’s application and stated that book sales for the book should proceed. In other words any attempts to stop sales of the book would now constitute a contempt of court.

It appears that Zoccoli was unhappy with the result and unwilling to abide by the rules of the umpire.

In the week immediately following the court result, a number of booksellers telephoned Raymond Hoser to advise him that Zoccoli had personally gone into shops and told them not to sell the book Victoria Police Corruption as he was suing Hoser. Such an action would of course be a contempt of court.

Corroboration of the fact came when Hoser was passed a copy of a fax from Dymocks Bookseller’s Head Office dated 27 April telling all stores to remove the book from sale. The fax stated defamation litigation as the reason. The only defamation action relating to the book in train at the time (and at least to end June 2000) was the Zoccoli matter. However the Zoccoli side had failed to get a court order restraining sales, just nine days earlier.

Hoser wrote to Dymocks and provided them a copy of the Gillard judgement of 18 April 2000. Dymocks notified their stores of the same and resumed selling books through their outlets.

On 22 June, 2000 Hoser walked into Collins Booksellers Airport West and asked why they were not selling the book Victoria Police Corruption. The shop had previously moved large quantities of the title. Hoser was told that stock had been recalled by head office a fortnight or so earlier. Likewise for a second title called Victoria Police Corruption – 2 also published by Kotabi.

Hoser obtained a copy of a fax from Collins Booksellers head office recalling all books. The letter stated that the Victorian Government Solicitor had directed the recall due to pending contempt of court proceedings.

Other booksellers similarly directed by the Victorian Government Solicitor were Angus and Robertson and Dymocks (again!), as well as "Better Read than Dead" in Sydney. All complied with the directive.

In the letter to Dymocks dated 2nd June 2000 (which was a standard letter), Mr. John Butler of the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Department said ‘Should the contemptuous publications remain on sale through your outlets, I will recommend to the Attorney General that he instruct me to commence proceedings for contempt of court’.

As of final post on 23 June 2000 Hoser had not received any phone calls, letters, faxes, e-mails or other communications from the Attorney General’s department including the Victorian Government Solicitor. This is in spite of some weeks elapsing between their first directive to shops to stop selling the books.

As a result, Hoser wrote to the Attorney General Rob Hulls seeking an end to the tactics of his subordinate that was unlawfully stopping sales. The letters from Butler were also in contempt of Justice Gillard’s decision and judgement of 18 April 2000.

On Monday 25 June 2000 the book distributors for the title Victoria Police Corruption (namely Kirby Books) received by post a letter from Butler telling them to stop sales or risk being charged with contempt of court. Butler threatened the company with imprisonment, fines, etc.

He set a deadline of 4 PM 23 June 2000 for the company to give a written confirmation of compliance before he would seek to instructions to sue them for contempt of court. The deadline preceded the date Kirby got their letter.

As of 6 July 2000, neither Hulls has responded to Hoser’s letter of 23 June, nor has Hoser heard a word from Butler or anyone else in the Attorney General’s Department (including the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office).

Sales of the books Victoria Police Corruption and Victoria Police Corruption – 2 have now been effectively stopped in all bookshops and this is a contempt of court. Sales have gone from a peak of about $10,000 worth per month to virtually nil.

The public is being deprived its right to know, Mr. John Butler is himself acting in contempt of his own Supreme Court and an Australian company (Kotabi) is being unlawfully bankrupted.

There are a few other relevant facts worth noting. Hulls was given copies of the books Victoria Police Corruption and Victoria Police Corruption – 2 in August 1999, before Kennett called the State Election. It is preposterous that a year after their release, Hull’s department could even contemplate banning the books.

A further irony is that had it not been for the book Victoria Police Corruption Labor in Victoria (Hull’s own party) would still be in opposition. Hundreds were sold in Geelong prior to the September 1999 election and the seat went to Labor by just 16 votes. Without that seat, they’d still be in opposition – you work it out!

Hulls has also been contacted on Hoser’s behalf by the following people, his Sydney lawyer, Alex Tees, Susan Davies, MP for Gippsland, Steve Gibbons (Federal MP) and others. As of 6 July 2000, Hulls and his underling Mr. Butler remain in their bunker, refuse to speak to anyone and continue to illegally ban two corruption books. Complaints about the illegal censorship have flown in from all over the world including Germany, the USA, etc.

Full details – including original copies of relevant letters referred to above, etc, for republication, can be found at:

Please can you acknowledge receipt of this letter immediately (by POST), and act on our complaints forthwith.

Yours Faithfully.


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