A bikie gang’s ploy to have the Queensland premier summonsed before a Gold Coast court has been labelled a political stunt orchestrated by Clive Palmer’s party.
Lawyer Zali Burrows, acting on behalf of alleged Bandidos bikies Peter Mauric and Stephen Cox, on Wednesday served a summons on Premier Campbell Newman at the government executive building in Brisbane.
Ms Burrows said her clients, who are charged with rioting during the infamous Broadbeach restaurant brawl last September, have encountered trouble having their bail varied and have summonsed the premier as a witness.
The application is due to be heard in Southport Magistrates Court on Friday.
The brawl resulted in dozens of bikie arrests and prompted the Queensland government’s tough and controversial new anti-bikie laws.
Mr Newman initially said on Wednesday he was not aware of the summons but later told parliament it was a political stunt orchestrated by the Palmer United Party (PUP).
The premier said Ms Burrows stood as a PUP candidate in the western Sydney electorate of Blaxland at the last federal election.
“Why would a lawyer from Sydney be in Brisbane working for criminal motorcycle gang members?” Mr Newman asked parliament.
“There seems to be more to this than just the serving of the summons today.”
Mr Newman tabled a letter from senior deputy crown solicitor Tony Keyes, which he said proved the summons was a stunt.
The premier said the advice indicated the summons was not properly filled out, was not properly served and was not signed by a justice of the peace as required.
In the letter, Mr Keyes said it was “impossible to conceive” why Mr Newman would be required to give evidence for an application to vary bail.
“The appropriate course in the circumstances is to apply to set aside the summons on the grounds that the issue of the summons is misconceived, frivolous or vexatious, quite apart from any question as to its formal validity,” Mr Keyes wrote.