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Jury urged not to guess motive in corruption -

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PETER CAVE: The trial of a former Queensland Cabinet minister is entering its final days, with the
jury hearings closing arguments today.

Mr Nuttall is fighting 36 charges of receiving secret payments from two businessmen.

The defence has this morning that none of the 25 Crown witnesses said Nuttall had tried to
influence Government to favour the men.

Annie Guest is at the District Court in Brisbane and she joins us now.

Annie, what are the key points that Nuttall's counsel has been raising in his concluding statement
to the jury?

ANNIE GUEST: Peter, Nuttall's defence counsel John Rivett began by drawing several analogies. He
says sometimes the simplest questions in life are the most difficult. And he said those include,
'What's the meaning of life?', 'why is the sky blue?'.

And John referred to a television advertisement where a boy asks his father from the back seat of a
car, 'Why was the Great Wall of China built?' and the father answers, 'To keep the rabbits out'.
And the defence counsel told the jury they shouldn't be like that father and guess what was in the
former minister, Gordon Nuttall's mind when he received that $360,000.

Now those are the payments that he received from the mining magnate, Ken Talbot, and also the
businessman Harold Shand, but in court, the defence also referred to them having been possibly
received by Jim Gorman instead of Harold Shand, he was a colleague of Harold Shand the businessman.

Now the jury was told that they should consider the evidence. That none of the Crown's 25 witnesses
said that Nuttall had tried to influence government decisions in favour of the men, including
Queensland's current Premier and the former premier, Peter Beattie.

And that the jury should look at Nuttall's history as an honest, hard-working person who'd
previously made disclosures to Parliament about different matters. And he also said the jury should
consider that these were exceptional friendship that Nuttall had with the mining magnate Ken Talbot
and the others, and it was in the spirit of this friendship that they gave Nuttall money to help
fulfil his plan to buy houses for his children.

PETER CAVE: How does the reversal of the onus of proof affect this case?

ANNIE GUEST: After the crown has established several points, including that the payments were made
and we've seen all sorts of bank statements around those, and Gordon Nuttall doesn't deny that they
were made; then after that the defence bears the onus of proof. And it must satisfy the jury beyond
reasonable doubt that the payments weren't corrupt.

And John Rivett, the defence counsel has told the jury that what matters is their intention, the
intentions that were in the minds of these people at the time of the payment.

PETER CAVE: The prosecution has only just begun its closing arguments, but can you recap the main
emphasis of what exactly is the crown's case?

ANNIE GUEST: Well the crown's case includes that it's bribe and graft, regardless of what was done
with the money and that there was a whole list of coincidental events where a payment would be
received or in one instance, property brought from Nuttall; at what the prosecution says was at an
inflated price, and that around the same time, there'd be a favourable government decision in
favour of those men.

And prosecutor Ross Martin got up just moments ago and started in the same vain as when he
questioned Nuttall on the stand the other day when he cut to the chase immediately then and said
$360,000 for absolutely nothing.

Which had the court, the gallery on the edge of their seats. Well today he got up and he said,
"money for nothing and the cheques for free." And he told the jury, "Okay, it's okay for Mark
Knopfler from Dire Straits to use that material for his song, but it's not okay for Nuttall to put
this argument."

And he said that Nuttall had been in denial, that he was self-justifying, that he had fallen victim
to flattery as a minister of the Crown.

And he also said, which was quite amusing, and I'll get you the direct quote, "It's self-praise
with an Olympic event, the accused is Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps rolled into one."

PETER CAVE: That was Annie Guest reporting their live from Brisbane.