Faruk Orman Bio, Wiki
Faruk Orman is a 37-year-old Australian former gangland gateway driver. He is alleged to have been the driver for hitman Andrew “Benji” Veniamin, who shot Victor George Peirce in 2002. Veniamin was murdered in 2004.
Faruk Orman Arrest & Conviction
On June 22nd, 2007, Victoria Police arrested Faruk Orman in the western suburb of Sunshine, alleging he was the driver for Peirce’s killers. Peirce was an Australian criminal from Melbourne, Victoria and a member of the Pettingill family, headed by matriarch and former Richmond brothel owner Kath Pettingill.
Orman who drove Veniamin to the killing was found guilty of the murder in September 2009 and was sentenced on November 2009 for 20 years in 2009, with a minimum of 14 years, after a supreme court jury convicted him of murdering Victor Peirce in 2002. He has always protested his innocence.
Faruk Orman Conviction Quashed due to Miscarriage of Justice
On Friday, July 26th, 2019, Orman’s conviction was quashed over Lawyer X scandal. The Court of appeal ordered the former getaway driver be immediately released due to a miscarriage of justice caused by his lawyer Nicola Gobbo.
The Melbourne gangland getaway driver was immediately released from jail because of a “substantial miscarriage of justice” caused by his double-agent lawyer Nicola Gobbo, also known as Lawyer X.
Victoria’s court of appeal ordered Orman be released without delay after a hearing in Melbourne on Friday found he should be acquitted due to Gobbo’s actions while she was representing him. She is alleged to have encouraged a key witness, whose evidence was central to securing Orman’s conviction, to talk to police.
Orman’s conviction comes as the first one to be overturned in the wake of the Lawyer X scandal which was uncovered when police were forced to reveal that Gobbo had been acting as their informant. The scandal sparked a royal commission, which is ongoing.
Orman wiped away tears in the courtroom as the decision was announced.
The appeal could serve as a test case for more than 20 other convictions that have been placed in doubt since Gobbo’s role as a police informer was revealed in 2018.
Speaking to the court of appeal, Victorian director of public prosecutions, Kerri Judd, at the courts first mention hearing on Friday July 26th said that there had been a serious miscarriage of justice, and that despite there being enough evidence to support the charge it would be unjust to demand a retrial because Orman had already spent 12 years behind bars.
The witness, allegedly encouraged by Gobbo, gave evidence that Orman had confessed to being the getaway driver for hitman Andrew “Benji” Veniamin, who shot Peirce and was himself murdered on March, 23rd 2004.
Judd conceded as much in the court on Friday. She did not concede that the witness’s evidence would, therefore, be inadmissible, only that a retrial would be unjust.
The court of appeal president Chris Maxwell and judges Richard Niall and Karin Emerton in a joint statement said that by conceding that fact, even though other allegations of fact made by Orman’s lawyers were contested, the DPP had prevented the court from having to undertake its own factual investigation.
They said: “Self-evidently, that conduct was a fundamental breach of [Gobbo’s] duties to Mr Orman and the court.” They further added: “On the facts as conceded, Ms Gobbo’s conduct subverted Mr Orman’s right to a fair trial, and went to the very foundations of the system of criminal trial. There was, accordingly, a substantial miscarriage of justice. The appeal must, therefore, be allowed.”
They ordered Orman’s conviction for murder be set aside, with no retrial issued.
Attorney general, Jill Hennessy referred Orman’s case to the court of appeal in June 2019 after receiving a petition of mercy from his lawyers in February 2019. She said there was “credible evidence that there may have been a miscarriage of justice” and it was not necessary to wait for the royal commission’s final report.
You can read the judges’ statement here.