The Chris Masters Four Corners piece on Melbourne’s criminal Hodson family last Monday was a ripper
that
was
watched by 924,000 people nationally, almost knocking off Eddie
McGuire’s Millionaire for the first time in the program’s history. But does anyone else
think
it
would have been more appropriate as an Australian Story?

The pre-publicity for the program attempted once again to make the
link
between
corrupt police and gangland murders, leaving a cloud over
allegedly
crooked
cops David Meichel and Paul Dale. It included the following
claim:

Victoria Police have long insisted that no firm links can be drawn
between
the
parallel scandals of the gangland killings and the entrenched
corruption
that
has plagued parts of the Victoria Police. But Four Corners can reveal new evidence that supports this connection – evidence
that
Terence
Hodson took to his grave.

This is a big call. Selling a few drugs to crooks and actually
pulling
the
trigger in cold blood is a huge psychological step for an allegedly
bent
copper
to take and, frankly, we don’t believe it for a moment.

Hodson was ratting on the Williams crew and was slated to give evidence
in
the
forthcoming Tony Mokbel trial. You could see from the comments
that
George
Williams gave to Masters that he wasn’t in the least concerned by
the
killing
of Hodson or his wife. Given that Carl Williams is already
facing
charges over
four murders, wouldn’t it make sense to look in his
direction for
an answer to
this double murder mystery? We doubt Carl has any
credit left to
sue us for
defamation.

The main peg for Masters’ claim that there is a link between corruption
and
the
gangland murders was as follows from the transcript:

What we can also reveal is the reason for Internal Affairs’ interest
in
Dale.
They were worried that Dale might have had a dangerous
and
improper
relationship with a key figure in the underworld. Doubts had
arisen
about the
reliability of Dale’s evidence when, in mid 2003, the
Sergeant
assisted Thomas
Ivanovic, a member of the Williams crew, then facing a
murder
charge. What was
more of a worry was that, despite this being known to
police,
Dale went on
managing Hodson, who went on informing on the Williams
crew.

Now police reporting is a competitive business, but this aspect of
the
Masters
story is being shouted down in Melbourne. Thomas Ivanovic is not
really
“a key
figure”, say critics of the program, he’s a simple chef who was
charged
with a
road rage murder, not some mastermind of the underworld.
Besides, he was
on
remand at the time of the “dangerous and improper
relationship” and Dale
is
said to have simply assisted with his plea.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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