Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
Qld murder accused ‘hunted for alibi’

A former business partner of a Queensland man accused of murdering his wealthy uncle over money says he was offered money for an alibi.

June 17, 2019

A cash-strapped Queensland man accused of murdering his wealthy uncle over money offered to pay a business associate for an alibi, a witness says.

Robert James Wagner, 57, is accused of murdering Gerhard Wagner, 61, at his Brisbane home on January 7, 1999, amid a row over money.

It’s alleged Wagner invited his uncle over, killed him, dismembered his body with an axe and dumped it in the Glass House Mountains.

He has pleaded not guilty to the murder.

On Monday, in a recorded police interview from 2016 played for the Brisbane Supreme Court, the accused’s former business partner Peter James Snow says he recalls Wagner’s hunt for an alibi.

“Wagner had a couple of drinks and was starting to loosen up a little bit and was talking about Gerry (Gerhard),” he said.

“(He asked) if anyone can help him. I think at one stage, from memory, he offered money for someone to give him an alibi.”

The now-deceased Mr Snow said he first met Wagner six months after Gerhard Wagner was alleged to have disappeared.

The pair went on to start a coffee machine business in Brisbane but it failed soon after opening and their friendship dissolved.

Wagner told him about the murder allegations against him soon after they met, Mr Snow said.

“At the time I took him on face value,” he said.

“But hindsight can be a wonderful thing because at the end of the day, things weren’t adding up.”

Months after the men’s business relationship fell apart, Mr Snow said he confronted Wagner at a court hearing.

” (I) said you’re just a low brat, I wouldn’t be surprised if you did bump Gerry (Gerard) off,” he said.

“His face changed, totally changed. He went white.”

A former employee of the men remembers Wagner differently.

Nicole Sevoir agreed with defence barrister David Funch that Wagner treated her like a sister and was very supportive.

Mr Snow was evil, manipulative and threatened the pair with violence, she agreed in a series of questions.

Gerhard Wagner was last seen riding his motorbike about 3pm on January 7 after working on his 42-foot yacht at a Brisbane marina.

He had a dinner date that night and had been planning to sail around the world.

But the former merchant seaman didn’t turn up for the date and his body has never been found.

The trial continues.

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