Former motorcycle racing champion Mick Doohan has spoken in court on behalf of businessman John Wagner.
Former motorcycle racing champion Mick Doohan has spoken in court on behalf of businessman John Wagner.

Doohan gives evidence in defamation case

RETIRED motorcycle racing champ Mick Doohan has told a court how business and community leaders held Toowoomba businessman John Wagner and his family in high regard.

Mr Doohan, who now counts himself as an investor, was giving evidence about Mr Wagner's reputation, in the defamation trial brought by the Wagner family against radio host Alan Jones, Radio 4BC Brisbane and others.

Mr Doohan told the court he had been a friend of John Wagner for about 20 years, but had never had any business dealings with him.

John Wagner outside the Supreme Court in Brisbane during the ongoing defamation case. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP
John Wagner outside the Supreme Court in Brisbane during the ongoing defamation case. Picture: Glenn Hunt/AAP

He said he had attended social events for Mr Wagner's prostate cancer charity, and it was because of the respect Mr Wagner commanded that high-profile business and community leaders had attended the events.

When asked how Mr Wagner was regarded in September 2013, Mr Doohan said: "He was held within high regard in the community.''

Mr Doohan said the Wagner family had been "a great asset to Queensland as well''.

The case brought by Denis, John, Neill and Joe Wagner relates to 32 of Mr Jones's broadcasts between October, 2014, and August, 2015, with some allegedly linking the Wagners to 2011 Grantham flood deaths.

Mr Doohan was one of six "reputation witnesses'' for the Wagners yesterday. Jones will be the first witness for the defence tomorrow.