Distressed Mokbel faces fresh delays

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A day after learning that delays in drug kingpin Tony Mokbel's appeal was causing him high levels of distress, prosecutors sought another extension for their case.

Brendan Kissane QC was due to respond to Mokbel's appeal bid - first filed in 2017 - by November 19 but he has been granted another two weeks.

It follows an eight-week extension prosecutors have already been given to respond.

Mokbel's barrister Ruth Shann, who last week was appointed one of Victoria's new queen's counsel, detailed the distress delays were causing her client in a hearing in Victoria's Court of Appeal on November 10.

Mr Kissane had promised on that date the Crown's response to Mokbel's bid, tied up with Victoria's Lawyer X saga involving snitching gangland barrister Nicola Gobbo, would be finalised by the agreed date.

But he told the court on Thursday that he had realised later that day that it wouldn't be possible and applied to the court for an extension the following day.

He blamed an inability to meet with another lawyer on the case, who is currently in Sydney.

"It has been impossible to meet and finalise the draft," he said.

"It's two weeks we're after, not a further two months."

Ms Shann has described Mokbel's conditions in prison as being "extremely onerous" since a near-fatal attack on him behind bars in February 2019.

He has been unable to have visits or online contact with family during multiple COVID-19 lockdowns and has been on hunger strikes.

"And all of this is while the effects of those injuries are still being felt," she said, in reference to the traumatic brain injury and other physical injuries he suffered during the stabbing attack.

Ms Shann had noted bail applications would normally be made where there are such lengthy delays in an appeal, but noted there were complexities with Mokbel.

Last time he was on bail in 2006 he spent a year in hiding in Greece.

Judicial Registrar Deirdre McCann said she was frustrated at adjusting the timeline such a short time after the last hearing.

She described it as unacceptable but granted Mr Kissane an extension until December 3.

The case will go back to court on December 14.

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