Palmer’s jet case to touch down in court
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.