Foster’s killer claims from behind bars
CONMAN Peter Foster claims millionaire businessman John Chardon confessed in jail that he used a gun with a crude homemade silencer to callously shoot his wife Novy in the back of the head because she wanted a divorce, a court has heard.
Explosive claims from the case can be revealed for the first time, including accusations John Chardon asked a secret lover to hire a hitman to kill his wife, and she sent him a letter the day she vanished to advise she was taking their two children and half their assets.
The allegations against the businessman were laid bare yesterday in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, where his barrister successfully argued Foster, the man claiming to be Chardon's overseas lover and two other witnesses should testify in person at a committal hearing in May.
Novy Chardon disappeared on February 6, 2013, and John Chardon, who ran a successful international lubricants company, was charged three years later after a lengthy investigation into one of Queensland's biggest suspected murder mysteries.
The body of the 34-year-old Upper Coomera mother has never been found.
Chardon's barrister Tony Kimmins told the court the evidence of Foster, who was serving time over a slimming scam when he met Chardon, would centre on alleged jailhouse confessions and it was important he be questioned in person and not via video link from prison.
"On a number of occasions, Mr Foster alleges that Mr Chardon confessed to him that he was involved in the disappearance and murder of his wife," he said.
"More graphically … Foster made a note that Chardon told him that he shot the missing person in the back of the head with a .22 because it doesn't leave an exit wound (and) he made the silencer for a gun out of a plastic bottle with … metal parts.
"He (Chardon) said he'd received a letter from the missing person's lawyer that he was required to relocate from the house."
The prosecution alleges that on the afternoon she went missing, Novy sent a letter to 70-year-old Chardon - who she met in Indonesia in 2001 - that said she "wanted to take the kids away and also 50 per cent of their assets".
In another stunning development, Mr Kimmins said a man in the Philippines should be flown to Queensland to give evidence so he could be grilled in person about his claim he was John Chardon's secret lover and knew of a plot to kill Novy.
"This particular witness purports to say that Mr Chardon was having a sexual relationship with him whilst he was in the Philippines, and that on a number of occasions Mr Chardon attempted to procure this particular person to organise someone to kill his wife whilst overseas," Mr Kimmins said.
"There is a series of alleged conversations between this particular witness and Mr Chardon where there are specific references to organising for her to be killed, or for the obtaining of a weapon and discussions about possible plans to organise for her to be disposed of."
The prosecution said there was no forensic evidence linking Chardon to his wife's alleged murder, but the circumstantial case included an allegation the carpets in her bedroom were cleaned with ammonia.
Chardon, who has previously denied killing his wife, did not report her missing to police and was the last person to see her alive, the court heard. He left on a business trip to Indonesia in the days after she was last seen.
Magistrate Penelope Hay rejected the prosecution's application for the four witnesses to give evidence via video link to reduce costs.
She said Foster would have to be brought to Queensland from a prison in NSW, where he is on remand for fraud offences, and noted his "dubious" character and a possible need to "control" him in the witness box.
Ms Hay remarked there "is no body, and there is no evidence of a death" in the unusual case.
The committal hearing is scheduled to run for eight days from May 9.