A book that deals with corruption and vice within the Victorian police force has been recalled.
Andrew Fraser's book Snouts in the Trough was withdrawn from sale yesterday afternoon (6 October) in Victoria, after the book's publisher, Hardie Grant Books, was informed by the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions that the book breaches suppression orders.
"We are currently working out what we can do about this," Hardie Grant Managing Director Julie Pinkham told Lawyers Weekly. "After talking to you, the next person I speak to will be our lawyer."
Andrew Fraser was a high-profile Melbourne criminal defence lawyer with a client list that included Alan Bond, the Moran family and underworld figure Dennis Allen, who was linked to many deaths in Melbourne in the 1970's and 1980's.
While working as a criminal lawyer, Fraser developed a cocaine addiction and was convicted of drug trafficking in late 2001, serving five years in prison. Upon his release, Fraser turned to writing, with the publication of his first book Court in the Middle selling nearly 50,000 copies.
His latest book details the story of Malcolm Rosenes, the drug squad detective who led the investigation into Fraser and was himself convicted of drug trafficking in 2003, serving three years in prison.
The book alleges corruption remains endemic within the Victorian police, with the state government and the Office of Police Integrity [OPI] being aware of corruption but doing nothing about it.
Pinkham said that the book "never intended to breach existing suppression orders" and that much of the information contained in the book is easily accessible on the internet and has been in the public domain for some time.
"We had no inkling in the lead up to publication that the book might be in breach of suppression orders," Pinkham said. "We will work with the OPP to determine whether we need to remove certain references in the book... and look to see if we can then get it back on the shelves."
Pinkham said that Fraser was "pretty shocked" when he was told his book was in breach of suppression orders, as they both believed "they had done everything" required of them to ensure the book complied with such orders.
Fraser has said the decision to recall his book was based on political grounds.
Snouts in the Trough remains available in other states and territories.
In February this year it was announced that David Wenham would play Fraser in a television miniseries that would chronicle his career.