A police officer has briefly appeared in court charged with an abuse of office during an investigation into a sniper attack on the Gold Coast.

A stood-down Queensland detective sergeant has appeared in court accused of improperly charging the girlfriend of a man later acquitted of shooting a bystander.

Jason Ricardo, 39, briefly appeared in Brisbane’s Roma Street Magistrates Court on Friday charged with an abuse of office.

His Queensland Police Union lawyer Calvin Gnech asked magistrate Paul Kluck to read out his client’s full charge to address “some unbalanced media reports”.

The magistrate told the court Ricardo allegedly abused his authority by laying criminal charges for “improper purposes” against Kylie Cunnington on March 7, 2011.

Her boyfriend Rick El Masri, 37, was this month acquitted by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm by shooting a bystander from a high-rise balcony at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in December 2010.

Ms Cunnington had lodged a formal complaint with the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) about her alleged treatment by Ricardo at the Southport watchhouse three years ago.

The CMC this month ordered the officer to face court.

Crown prosecutor David Meredith told the court Ricardo faced a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

Mr Kluck granted Ricardo bail on the condition he not contact Ms Cunnington or police prosecutor Jacquelyn Hart.

He is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on July 16.

A Queensland Police Union spokesman said Ricardo would contest the allegations made against him, adding that his lawyer’s request to the magistrate referred to previous media reports relating to an unsubstantiated kidnapping allegation.