Top cop who was the inspiration for hit TV series Underbelly is suspended


 One of Victoria’s top cops has been suspended from the force after he was charged by the state’s anti-corruption watchdog with leaking restricted information.

Commander Stuart Bateson was charged on Thursday with three counts of disclosing a restricted matter, following an investigation by the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).

It is not known what information Mr Bateson has allegedly leaked or who was the recipient. 

Mr Bateson, who joined the police force in 1987, will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 4. 

‘This follows an announcement by IBAC on June 6 that the officer was charged on summons with three counts of disclosing a restricted matter,’ a Victoria Police spokeswoman said on Monday.

‘As this is an IBAC investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.’

Mr Bateson could not be reached for a comment. 

Mr Bateson has served as a detective in areas such as organised crime, counter-terrorism and homicide. 

He was a member of the Purana task force at the height of Melbourne’s gangland war and has a central character in the first season of the popular TV series Underbelly based on him.

In 2017, Mr Bateson was awarded the Australian Police Medal for distinguished service to law enforcement.

He is also due to be called next week as a witness at the royal commission into the use of police informers, including Nicola Gobbo, also known as ‘Lawyer X’.

It is unclear if his suspension will affect that appearance. 

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