A convicted extortionist Adam Anthony Zoccoli has today failed in an attempt to legally ban the top-selling book Victoria Police Corruption.
The book was launched on 2 August 1999 and is widely touted as the definitive work on corruption in Victoria.
In December Anthony Adam Zoccoli (otherwise known as Mr. Fixit) sued the author Raymond Hoser and publishers Kotabi for defamation seeking unspecified damages (money). The matter is being defended.
Today (April 18, 2000), Zoccoli and his lawyers sought an immediate injunction banning sales of the book. This was the second time the matter had come up before the court for an immediate ban on sales.
Supreme Court Judge, Justice Gillard rejected Zoccoli’s application and further directed that he pay Kotabi Publishiong’s legal costs in the matter. These are sizeable.
Kotabi publishing’s lawyer, Alex Tees, said, ‘We told, Zoccoli to go jump in the lake. The Victorian Supreme Court agrees’’.
Author Raymond Hoser was even more blunt. He said ‘In my view, Zoccoli’s actions were nothing more than an abuse of legal process and a form of legalized extortion. Put simply – we didn’t pay and nor will we’.
According to Hoser’s book, Zoccoli has an extensive criminal history, including acting as a go-between for bent Police and victims whom he’d set-up and then demand money to get them off charges.
According to Zoccoli’s own material filed before the Supreme Court, he has priors convictions for blackmail (AKA extortion) for which he got 16 months jail, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice for which he got 12 months jail, conspiracy to defraud (9 months jail), criminal damage (12 months) and perjury (24 months) and other serious matters.
Hoser said ‘while under normal circumstances I wouldn’t necessarily treat his "criminal record" as definitive, the fact is that it is on the public record that Zoccoli has confessed to criminal actions’.
Lawyer Dean Jones acted for Salvatore Marabito, who was a victim of a set-up organised by Zoccoli. Jones described Zoccoli as ‘a low-life’ and said he thought Zoccoli may be abusing the legal system in order to get a quick grab for cash.
Meanwhile Hoser’s lawyers now have another problem besides defending the defamation matter.
In 1990 Zoccoli was bankrupted to the tune of 2,191,000.00 owed to 11 creditors. He was discharged a few years later, but took the bankruptcy option again in July last year.
Zoccoli, aged about 50 and sporting a shaved head attacked a photographer outside the court before driving off in a Red late-model car.
According to Victorian law, a bankrupt can still earn a sizeable income without having to repay any debts to creditors.
Kotabi publishing’s lawyers have backed author Raymond Hoser issuing a statement saying that ‘even at this late stage of proceedings we have no evidence to suggest that Hoser has got a single thing wrong in his book. In fact we now have more evidence than ever to corroborate that what he wrote was correct. Police and government corruption are matters of deep public interest and we will do our best to ensure that the public’s right to know be served by continuing sales of the books.’
Author Raymond Hoser was particularly disturbed in that among the "supporting documents" used to try to get the order banning sales of the book was a signed statement from Assistant Victorian Ombudsman, Brian Hardiman, written specifically for the purpose of supporting Zoccoli's bid to ban the book. Hoser said 'It says something about whose side that office is on. While the Victorian Ombudsman's departnment routinely smears and attacks corruption whistleblowers, they simultaneously aid and abets corruption and they are only too happy to satisy the wishes of bent police and extortionists who may choose to stop the public from knowing the truth. Hardiman and his superior officer, Barry Perry are adversely named throughout the book Victoria Police Corruption.
Meanwhile many bookshops report that they are having trouble keeping up with continuing high demand for the book. A reprint is being organized … further injunctions withstanding.