A Victorian police officer has denied setting up an accused drug trafficker and associate to Tony Mokbel with turncoat lawyer Nicola Gobbo.
The associate, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a royal commission the now-infamous barrister known as "Lawyer X" double-crossed him.
But Detective Sergeant Paul Rowe denied setting up the associate of drug king pin Mokbel with Ms Gobbo after the latter man's arrest in 2005.
The officer said he can't remember telling the associate "You're f***ed" during his re-arrest the following year, despite police being concerned there wasn't enough evidence to lay fresh charges.
The associate told the commission he ran a chemical company when he met Mokbel in about 2004 and got involved in his drug manufacturing venture.
This ultimately landed the associate in police custody but he claims he had no idea who Ms Gobbo was until the referral by Mr Rowe.
The officer admits he called Ms Gobbo's number for the associate, but says it was only after the associate had asked for her.
Ms Gobbo, now the centre of an inquiry into the use of police informants in Victoria, purported to represent him while also working to get him to turn on Mokbel.
When the associate was rearrested on fresh allegations in 2006, Gobbo said he wanted to "turn on the world", the commission has been told.
Mr Rowe on Tuesday agreed it had been in the force's interests to get the associate to cooperate.
He knew he was in trouble and was keen to cooperate with police, Mr Rowe said.
The associate used his own phone to call Ms Gobbo twice from a police car, after being picked up by authorities in 2006 the officer added.
"You're in the car with him and you tell him 'You're f***ed'," counsel assisting the commission Megan Tittensor said.
"I don't think I've ever used those words to someone to be honest," Mr Rowe replied.
He conceded police were worried there wasn't enough evidence to charge him with conspiring to traffic drugs.
In fact, those charges were never laid but Ms Gobbo convinced the associate to admit to drug trafficking.
He received a suspended three-year sentence in exchange for giving evidence against Mokbel.
The inquiry, looking at how Ms Gobbo gave police information on-and-off between 1995 and 2012, is due to continue on Wednesday.