Corrupt police officers were linked with a bloody gangland war which raged for years in the country's second largest city, Australian police confirmed Friday.
Victoria state's deputy police commissioner, Simon Overland, who formerly headed an investigation into gangland violence in Melbourne, said detectives recently uncovered evidence of police involvement in two separate gang-related matters.
"We've got specific information now that says there is a direct link between police corruption and gangland murders," he said.
Police also confirmed that a senior officer was suspended Thursday.
Melbourne's criminal war began in the late 1990s and claimed 29 lives. The brutality of the crimes, including one murder which was staged in front of a children's football match, shocked Australia.
A link between police and gangland criminals had long been suspected, particularly after a police informer and his wife were murdered in an execution-style killing in 2004.
"Corruption is not growing or a systemic problem and Victoria's informant management system is one of the best in the world," state commissioner Christine Nixon said.
Overland added that while there was a "rotten" element to Victorian Police, the latest development would be devastating to the vast majority of officers.
"It's not something that you expect to have to do," he said of the probe into fellow officers. "But the point is we've found it, we will follow it."
Last Mod: 14 Eylül 2007, 11:59