CPA HQ Bombing

Ted Riethmuller talks with Stefan Armbruster (SBS) about the bombing of the Communist Party’s headquarters at 291 St. Pauls Terrace in the Valley in Brisbane.

On 19th April 1972, sixteen sticks of gelignite exploded lifting the floor of the building almost six centimetres off the ground.

No one was killed or injured, but a newspaper editorial called it “the worst political violence Queensland had ever seen”.

On the same night, shots were fired into a left-wing bookshop, in attacks timed to coincided with Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

Gary Manghan then “leader of the Fascist Party,” was charged over the bombing but was ultimately acquitted in September 1973.

Manghan was let off by the court on a technicality despite very strong evidence against him including a confession.

There was an extradition order for him to be questioned on the bombing of the CPA building. He had been arrested in NSW and held on a holding charge under the Vagrants Gaming and other offences laws. It was while he was held that he confessed to the bombing of the CPA. Manghan was not a vagrant because he had money on him when he was arrested. Since there was no basis for the holding charge the confession was excluded by the trial judge.


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