Qld harness racer denies perjury charge

·2-min read

A Queensland harness racing driver and trainer has denied lying to a corruption probe into industry race-fixing as he fights perjury charges.

Mathew Peter Neilson, 38, was called before coercive hearings held by the Crime and Corruption Commission for the racing integrity probe into "irregularities" in harness racing, a Brisbane District Court jury has been told.

"He was there because an investigation had commenced into curious conduct that was going on in the Queensland harness racing," prosecutor Ben Jackson told the court on Tuesday.

"The main point of the investigation was about the predetermination of races - predetermining the outcomes of harness races," Mr Jackson said.

"Clearly, if a race is predetermined, that will affect who can make money."

The Crown alleges that during Neilson's January 2017 interview, he told a "significant lie".

Neilson was asked about what he knew about other people, as well as, of course, his own activities concerning race-fixing.

"Mr Neilson said he was aware of some races that he thought looked quite 'hot' and did raise some concerns and queries for him, but that was the business of other people.

"He said he did not participate in race or match-fixing."

After claiming to be "unaware" of race-fixing activities, the Crown says two later telephone intercepts would show Mr Neilson arranging for his horse to place in two separate 2016 races.

"He later acknowledges he was involved in two races where the results were predetermined - compared to where he said he was unaware of any race-fixing in the industry.

"When he gave evidence that he was unaware of race or match-fixing ... that was a lie, and he knew it to be a lie.

"It was false, and he knew it to be false. That is why we are here on the count of perjury."

Barrister Tim Ryan for Neilson urged the jury to pay close attention to the actual questions put to his client.

"In cases where a charge of perjury is brought by the prosecution, it's all about the precision of language," Mr Ryan said.

"It's all about a witness knowing exactly what they are being asked about."

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