A woman who saw three men lighting a fuel drum shortly before Brisbane's Whiskey Au Go Go firebombing says police intimidated her to change her statement.
Kath Potter, then 22, and a girlfriend arrived at the nightclub about two hours before the 1973 arson attack that killed 15 people.
Ms Potter was in a phone booth outside the building when her friend brought her attention to "something weird going on", she told an inquest in Brisbane on Wednesday.
She said three men wearing dark clothing got a drum from the back seat of a car, before ripping up white material taken from the boot and stuffing it into the drum.
"Then the three of them were ... trying to manipulate it (on the bottom rim) up towards the door," Ms Potter added.
"I saw them light it before they started to move it towards the door."
Ms Potter said the men were in the club's doorway when she and her friend left "pretty quickly".
In the morning her father showed a newspaper article about the bombing.
Ms Potter gave a statement to police that day, but during the week after officers came to her house asking to go over her statement.
"They told me I was lying and I must have been drunk at the time because there was not three men there were only two," she told the inquest.
They insisted she was lying, telling her to "rectify" her statement.
"I said 'I'm not doing it because I know what I saw'."
Ms Potter said the officers "intimidated" her and were kicked out the house by her father.
Days after the bombing Ms Potter was at another club when Whiskey Au Go Go management asked what she had seen.
The managers discussed the identity of the three men, but she didn't know the people they were talking about.
Ms Potter also said she saw two men in suits being handed a brown paper bag at the front counter at the Chequers nightclub - owned by the same men as the Whiskey Au Go Go.
Her father told her it was "protection money to keep them all safe".
Ms Potter said her father told her not to go to the Whiskey Au Go Go that night because of his knowledge of Brisbane's "criminal underbelly", saying "I don't want you to lose your life".
There had also been attacks on other clubs before Whiskey Au Go Go and "business owners were all terrified of who was going to be next".
Ms Potter didn't make a second statement and wasn't asked to testify when two men - John Andrew Stuart and James Richard Finch - were convicted of murder over the brutal crime.
The inquest has been re-opened after 1973 proceedings were terminated after only three days when Stuart and Finch were arrested.
More than 60 patrons and staff tried frantically to escape the fire after two drums of fuel were set alight in the foyer of the Fortitude Valley club about 2am on March 8, 1973.
Fifteen people didn't make it out, dying from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Jeanette Little, whose husband Brian owned the club at the time, told the inquest she didn't recall much from the night but had left the club before the firebombing.
She denied the fire had been a topic of conversation with her husband over the years.
Asked whether she took the view Mr Little was involved in the fire or knew about it ahead of time, she said, "No".
Whiskey Au Go Go employee Linette Davis earlier testified Mr Little told her his club was going to be bombed, but there was not much he could do.
"From my perspective if they thought it was a credible threat and he seemed particularly determined that it was, why didn't they close the club or something?" Ms Davis told the inquest.
The two-week sitting of the inquest continues before State Coroner Terry Ryan.
Australian Associated Press