Palmer’s jet case to touch down in court

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ME­LANIE PETRINEC

CLIVE Palmer’s bid to re­claim a $ 5 mil­lion pri­vate jet will go to trial next month as emails have sur­faced al­leg­ing “no cash changed hands” when he sup­pos­edly bought it from Queens­land Nickel.

QN’s liq­uida­tors have been hold­ing the Cessna Ci­ta­tion X hostage at a Gold Coast Air­port hangar for more than a year while a Supreme Court bat­tle is on­go­ing over the own­er­ship of the plane.

Mr Palmer as­serts he is the true owner of the plane, but the liq­uida­tors want a court to de­cide af­ter un­earthing ev­i­dence they claim shows the real owner to be QN, which col­lapsed last year with $ 300 mil­lion in debts and 800 job losses.

Liq­uida­tor John Park filed a fresh af­fi­davit this week, al­leg­ing that while the ex- politi­cian says he bought the plane from QN in 2012, the $ 5 mil­lion pur­chase price “was not in fact paid by Mr Palmer”.

In­stead, it was billed to his flag­ship com­pany Min­er­al­ogy and that loan was al­legedly “for­given” – mean­ing QN was never paid.

The new doc­u­men­ta­tion in­cludes emails from 2014 in which QN’s tax director, Alex Car­lyle, asks chief fi­nan­cial con­troller Michael Fitzsim­mons to clar­ify the plane was “sold to Min­er­al­ogy, not CFP ( Clive Fred­er­ick Palmer)”.

Mr Fitzsim­mons replied: “It was sold to CFP for $ 5m. No cash changed hands – it was put through the Min­er­al­ogy Loan Ac­count … the ma­jor­ity of the Min­er­al­ogy Loan Bal­ance was even­tu­ally for­given.”

Mr Park wrote in his af­fi­davit that he re­viewed the com­pany’s bank state­ments and “can con­firm the com­pany did not re­ceive $ 5 mil­lion from Mr Palmer … at any time there­after”.

The case was men­tioned in the Bris­bane Supreme Court yes­ter­day and will go to trial on Au­gust 17.

Mr Palmer also lodged an ap­peal yes­ter­day against Mal­colm Turn­bull in Queens­land’s high­est court af­ter parts of his defama­tion claim against the Prime Min­is­ter were struck out last month. Mr Palmer is su­ing Mr Turn­bull and Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Michaelia Cash over com­ments they al­legedly made in the wake of QN’s col­lapse.

Clive Palmer.

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