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Qld murder investigators find buried guns

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September 11, 2017

John Hitchen, 66, was granted bail at the Southport Magistrates Court on Monday on firearms charges.

A man with alleged links to the cold-case murder of Philip Carlyle has faced a Queensland court on weapons charges.

John Hitchen, 66, was granted bail at the Southport Magistrates Court on Monday after making a brief appearance on a string of offences, including the possession of illegal firearms.

Police investigating the murder of Mr Carlyle in April 1997 allege they discovered 11 handguns, two semi-automatic rifles, three rifle barrels and over 10,000 rounds of ammunition on a property near Stanthorpe on August 5.

The discovery came after Hitchen was charged in June with being an accessory after the fact in Mr Carlyle's murder.

Mr Carlyle was 47 when he was shot dead at his Robina business on April 13, 1997.

His business partner Neil Pentland was arrested and charged with his murder earlier this year.

During Monday's court appearance, Hitchen's lawyer Dan Rogers told the court there was no indication any of the weapons were linked to Mr Carlyle's death.

"There's no suggestion these firearms have any connection whatsoever to the matter where my client is being charged with being an accessory after the fact," Mr Rogers said.

The weapons were located on a property used for recreational hunting, Mr Rogers said, adding his client was a shareholder in the business.

Police say the items were buried on the property in barrels, buckets and tubing.

Mr Rogers said fingerprint evidence only linked his client to some of the items seized.

He also said police concede the weapons had been at the property for a "long period" of time and were not recently moved there by his client.

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