By the time the Supreme Court suppression order that prohibits screening or distribution in Victoria of the true crime TV series Underbelly is finally lifted — they may have stopped making television sets and started giving away petrol for free at polling booths.

Last Wednesday a Supreme Court jury began its deliberations in the trial of a man accused of the execution murder of gangland patriarch Lewis Moran. Evangelos Goussis has pleaded not guilty to murdering Lewis Moran at the Brunswick Club on March 31, 2004.

The suppression order was made to protect the integrity of the jury in the Moran murder trial but the jury handing down its verdict in this case is far from being the end of the Victorian suppression order on Underbelly.

This week, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Jeremy Rapke QC, would not disclose whether he will seek a new suppression order against Underbelly.

The reason being that an upcoming trial for the murder of underworld gunman Victor George Peirce makes the Lewis Moran murder trial appear a mere bagatelle.

In March, Faruk Orman, 25, was committed to stand trial with the murder of Peirce, who was shot as he sat in his car in Bay Street, Port Melbourne, on May 1, 2002. Orman has pleaded not guilty.

Victor Peirce, the victim, had more form than every racetrack in Australia. He was a member of the infamous Pettingill family and involved in the Walsh Street police shootings. He protected well-known members of the Honoured Society.

We believe his murder trial will involve the entire cast and crew of both Underbelly and Underbelly Series 2 which is now expected to be a prequel that will cover the Mafia Victoria Market murders in the 1960s through to the 1990s.

We believe the Peirce murder trial will be more closely watched than the Melbourne Cup. We believe it should be shown live on television.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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