Joh a great servant: jury foreman

THE foreman of the controversial hung jury that allowed Joh Bjelke-Petersen to keep his freedom, yesterday described him as a ``substantial figure'' who had made a significant contribution to Queensland.
But Luke Shaw, who found himself at the centre of the ``Joh's jury'' furore in 1991 when it was revealed he was a member of the Young Nationals and had been identified with the Friends of Joh movement, won't be attending next week's state funeral in Kingaroy.
Mr Shaw joins a number of other figures of the Bjelke-Petersen era not attending the state funeral, including disgraced former police commissioner Terry Lewis, former premier Wayne Goss and Labor stalwart Tom Burns.
Shaw, 33, was foreman of the jury in Sir Joh's 1991 Brisbane District Court perjury trial and was reportedly one of the two jurors who held out for a ``not guilty'' verdict.
The jury could not come to a unanimous agreement, so a mistrial was declared. However, the then special prosecutor, Doug Drummond, decided not to proceed with another trial.
Mr Shaw yesterday said he and his family wanted to extend to the Bjelke-Petersen family their condolences and deepest regret at the passing of Sir Joh.
``My thoughts are with Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen and her family at this time, as they mourn the loss of a husband, father and grandfather.
``Sir Joh served the state of Queensland as Premier for more than 19 years, and as a Queenslander I am aware of his substantial contribution to this state.''
Shaw, who is married with two children, is employed in a metal fabrication workshop in Brisbane and is studying arts and journalism at university.
The charges of perjury against Sir Joh arose over evidence he gave to the Fitzgerald inquiry into police corruption, which began in 1987 and ended in 1989.
The contentious evidence concerned what Sir Joh knew about the business dealings of Singaporean businessman Robert Sng.
The businessman made a political donation in a brown paper bag and won development rights to build Brisbane's Heritage Hotel.
Sir Joh told the Fitzgerald corruption inquiry that he did not know where the money came from. But in bringing perjury charges against him, the prosecution maintained he did.
Evidence was given to the perjury trial by Sir Joh's former police Special Branch bodyguard Sergeant Bob Carter that in 1986 he had twice been given packages of cash totalling $210,000 at Sir Joh's office.
He was told to take them to a Brisbane city law firm and then watch as the money was deposited in a company bank account.
The money had been given over by Sng, and the bank account was in the name of Kaldeal -- operated by a trustee of the National Party, Edward Lyons.
Sng told the court he gave envelopes containing $100,000 in cash to Sir Joh and National Party state president Robert Sparkes, saying the money was for the ``Joh for PM'' campaign.