A Melbourne lawyer is facing a potential career-ending investigation by the state’s legal watchdog over accusations he pressured a child sex abuse victim not to help police.
Alex Lewenberg, who represented notorious Jewish paedophile David Cyprys, told a Jewish victim that Jews shouldn’t help police prosecute fellow Jews, in covertly recorded conversations, according to the Herald Sun.
“I am not exactly delighted that another Yid would assist police against an accused, no matter whatever he is accused of,” Lewenberg said.
“There is a tradition, if not a religious requirement, that you do not assist against (the people of Abraham).”
Lewenberg has apparently admitted to making the comments but told the Legal Services Commissioner that what he said must be understood in context.
The Legal Services Commissioner applied to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for orders against Lewenberg after finding he would likely be found guilty of professional misconduct, the Herald Sun reported.
“The comments ascribed to Mr Lewenberg would reasonably be regarded by fellow legal practitioners of good repute and competency as comments that were disgraceful or dishonourable,” the Legal Services Commissioner said in a letter.
The VCAT may suspend Lewenberg’s practicing certificate or recommend to the Supreme Court that he be disbarred.
Lewenberg, who has represented notorious criminals and a bikie gang boss, has survived a house bombing, a stabbing and a shooting during his career as a criminal defence lawyer.