Accused Qld murderer stood to inherit 300K

Robert Wagner is on trial over the alleged murder of his uncle Gerhard Wagner in 1999.
Robert Wagner is on trial over the alleged murder of his uncle Gerhard Wagner in 1999.

A cold-case murder trial has heard a wealthy Queensland man, who went missing more than 20 years ago, left $300,000 to a cash-strapped nephew now accused of his murder.

Gerhard Wagner, 61, was last seen riding his motorbike on January 7, 1999, after working on his prized yacht at a Brisbane marina.

He'd arranged to meet his girlfriend, Menchie Klune, for dinner that night but failed to show up.

Neither his body nor the motorcycle has been found.

His nephew Robert James Wagner, 57, is accused of killing him in the garage at his Brisbane home.

He denies it.

In the Brisbane Supreme Court, the missing man's younger brother, Paul Wagner, said he had spoken to his sibling about his will three months before he disappeared.

"He said my current will is such that in the event of my demise, Robert gets gifted the $300,000 he owes me," Paul Wagner said.

"He did say to me 'you might not be happy with it'."

The court heard Gerhard Wagner and his nephew often argued over Wagner's lifestyle and his wasteful ways.

Wagner, who was the executor for Gerhard Wagner's will, had also made changes to the will in the months before his uncle's disappearance, crown prosecutor Philip McCarthy said.

On Wednesday, Paul Wagner spoke lovingly about his brother, but said he lacked a solid understanding of financial matters.

"He was free and open about financial affairs. He didn't mind discussing it with anyone," he said.

Earlier, a witness, who can't be identified for legal reasons, told the court Wagner confessed to him it was a premeditated killing about money.

He said Wagner used an axe, a hammer and a knife to murder and "chop up" Gerhard.

Wagner then took "skin and the guts" to a Brisbane river, he said.

The rest of the body was buried at Mount Tibrogargan in the Glass House Mountains National Park, north of Brisbane, he said.

The trial continues on Thursday.

Australian Associated Press