Bomb threat at Brisbane court
A BOMB threat cleared Queensland's highest court just minutes after Gerard Baden-Clay's lawyer labelled the police murder case against him as weak.
Justice Glenn Martin interrupted barrister Peter Davis' submissions after he was notified a bomb threat had been made for court five at the Brisbane Supreme Court about 2.35pm.
That was the court where Baden-Clay's lawyers were making his bid for freedom a week after he was accused of murdering his wife Allison at their Brookfield home on April 19 and interfering with her corpse at Kholo Creek the same night.
Justice Martin immediately cleared the packed courtroom - filled with family, media, students and lawyers - and the bailiff directed people into lifts and down the fire escape.
Soon after sirens sounded as hundreds of courthouse staff, jurors and other visitors were evacuated, including people involved in the Max Sica multiple murder trial which was in the final stages after more than four months.
Prisoners in the cells beneath the courthouse were also evacuated.
The police bomb squad, and a specially trained dog, swept the building for more than three hours.
Baden-Clay's bail application has been rescheduled to 10am on Friday.
Chief Justice Paul de Jersey told media the incident had caused "great inconvenience and havoc" to the justice system and "extremely important court proceedings".
"It's absolutely disgraceful, if this is a hoax, that the proceedings of the state's highest court can be disrupted in this dreadful way," he said.
"It causes so much disruption not only to the parties to proceedings but the general public as well.
"You can only hope this is resolved quickly."
Before the threat, Mr Davis had begun telling the court the police bail objection affidavit was "the essence of the case against us".
"An examination of it will demonstrate the weakness of the case against Mr Baden-Clay and the rather extraordinary nature of some of the allegations that have been made," he said.
Mr Davis said police had argued Baden-Clay had not co-operated with them since speaking to them and consenting to a forensic examination order on April 20, the day he reported his wife missing.
But he said his client had consented to two forensic examinations and had engaged a solicitor to deal with police.
"His lack of co-operation is not evidence of guilt and is not even admissible evidence of guilt," he said.
Mr Davis was addressing the court on police identifying Baden-Clay as a "person of interest" to the media just three days after Allison disappeared and was handing up Courier-Mail reports when the court was cleared.
A Police Media spokesman said police took all bomb threats seriously.
"We'll still go through the same process whether it sounds like hoax or a serious threat," he said.