EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Aussies In Strife

  • March 25th, 2008
  • Posted by 7thmin

mokbel-r-n-d-net.jpgThe Melbourne underworld figure accused of drug trafficking and murder, Tony Mokbel, enjoyed the dubious title of highest-profile Australian in trouble in the EU this month.

His court battles in Athens against extradition appeared to be over; his ticket home in handcuffs virtually assured.

The Australian wool industry rated a poor second in the trouble stakes, under attack once again over the practice of mulesing sheep.


After a lengthy contest through the Greek courts, Tony Mokbel was told (19.3.08) his last appeal against extradition had been dismissed.

There was some talk of an appeal through a new avenue, to the European Court of Human Rights; a trip to Lebanon, if Greek authorities decided that way, to face some charges there, and complaints to be made in Australia that heavy publicity would harm the man’s chances of a fair trial.

Australian officials expressed some confidence that the accused would be brought to trial back in Melbourne, where he’s been linked to the commissioned murders of two persons during a long season of gangland warfare.


A Minister in the Swedish government has listed several department stores in his country joining a boycott of Australian wool, because they do not want products sourced to sheep subjected to mulesing.

The practice of mulesing involves cutting skin from around the backside of a sheep to prevent growth of wool, and potential fly strike; the wool industry has set a target of 2010 to replace it with other remedies, such as less harmful surgical practices, genetic measures, or treatment by injections that will cause sections of skin to fall away.

The retail boycott was stepped up in Northern Europe after a lobbyist with the Australian Wool and Sheep Industry Taskforce offered a “see for yourself ” trip to Australia, to a Swedish anti-mulesing campaigner.

It was seen as a bribe to prevent them taking part in a critical television program.

Picture: Tony Mokbel,