A convicted extortionist Adam Anthony Zoccoli who failed in an attempt to legally ban the top-selling book Victoria Police Corruption, has either through his henchmen or directly unlawfully harassed and threatened the book sellers who are promoting and selling the book. Those unlawfully approached and harassed by Zoccoli include a Sydney distributor and a Melbourne distributor. Furthermore Dymocks booksellers across Australia were unlawfully forced to remove and stop selling all copies of the books Victoria Police Corruption and Victoria Police Corruption-2 on 27 April 2000, some two weeks after the Supreme Court judgement had ruled that sales must proceed. A fax was sent from head office to all stores
The books were launched on 2 August 1999 and are widely touted as the definitive works on corruption in Victoria.
Prior to publication the Victoria Police unlawfully jailed the book’s author Raymond Hoser for four months. They also bashed him, robbed him, poisoned his dog and raided his house, seizing manuscripts, etc, in further unlawful attempts to stop the book coming out. At the time the book was printed in July/August 1999, Victorian Police raided the printing plant to seize the books. However they had been shipped out six days earlier. The book is credited with having caused the downfall of the Kennett government. In September, Kennett lost government by just one seat. The book had sold about a thousand copies in Geelong alone. Geelong was lost by the Libs by just 16 votes. Assuming that the book, which details major corruption in the Kennett government swung half those who bought books, the 500 odd votes it swung in that seat easily and demonstrably caused a change of government.
In December 1999 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.
On 18, 2000, Zoccoli and his OS Simpson-style team of 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. Zoccoli was backed by such people as Victorian police and the Victorian Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s office even made a sworn statement to the court as part of the bid to have the book banned. Three of Hoser’s corruption books presents evidence to proove that the Victorian Ombudsman’s office is corrupt.
Supreme Court Judge, Justice Gillard rejected Zoccoli’s application and further directed that Zoccoli’s side pay Kotabi Publishing’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. The money was never recovered. He was discharged from bankruptcy a few years later, but took the bankruptcy option again in July last year.
Zoccoli, aged about 50 and sporting a close-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.’
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.
Stop Press: In spite of the Supreme Court judgement upholding the right of Kotabi and Hoser to continue to sell their books, the Zoccoli’s side has refused to accept the rule of law. Acting in a demonstrable contempt of court, Zoccoli has hired one or more henchmen to harass book distributors in an attempt to stop the book’s sales. Furthermore Dymocks were leant on to direct all stores to stop selling the books.
On 27 April 2000, two weeks after the judgement, Dymocks were unlawfully intimidated to send faxes to all stores directing shop managers to stop selling Hoser’s books.
Zoccoli’s unlawful actions caused book trade sales to more than halve. However Kotabi has insisted that they will continue to sell books in line with the court judgement in their favor.
It also appears that the mainstream media has tacitly supported the bids to have Hoser’s corruption books banned. While routinely using material from the books and then prostituting the "news" as the result of their own investigations, the mainstream media has steadfastly refused to report on the legal attempts to ban the books. The last time something similar happened in Victoria was when a legal attempt was made to ban The First Stone by Helen Garner. That also failed. At the time, the papers gave that story prominent news coverage for many weeks.
Last year the Age newspaper paid Hoser $10,000 after they admitted to stealing material from one of his books and failing to credit the book as the source of their information.