MENSINK’S GONE FOR GOOD: CLIVE

Palmer doubts his fugi­tive nephew will face the mu­sic

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ME­LANIE PETRINEC

CLIVE Palmer has sen­sa­tion­ally de­clared his fugi­tive nephew has left Aus­tralia “for good”. For­mer Queens­land Nickel di­rec­tor Clive Mensink has two war­rants out for his ar­rest for fail­ing to ap­pear at pub­lic ex­am­i­na­tions into the com­pany’s col­lapse, and was sup­posed to re­turn to Aus­tralia from a marathon over­seas hol­i­day last month. But his un­cle yes­ter­day told the Bris­bane Supreme Court he had gone to ground and was un­likely to come home to face the mu­sic. “His at­ti­tude seems to be that he’s left Aus­tralia for good,” Mr Palmer said. “I my­self tried to email Mr Mensink in March and the ev­i­dence here shows that two emails which I then sent to Mr Mensink didn’t re­ceive a re­sponse. That par­tic­u­lar email I be­lieve is not ac­tive any­more.” Mr Palmer rep­re­sented him­self in the Supreme Court to de­fend the gov­ern­ment- ap­pointed liq­uida­tors’ mul­ti­mil­lion- dol­lar law­suit against him and 20 other de­fen­dants – in­clud­ing Mr Mensink – and an at­tempt to freeze more than $ 200 mil­lion in as­sets. He ar­gued the law­suit, which al­leges in­sol­vent trad­ing and breaches of di­rec­tors’ du­ties, should be de­layed as Mr Mensink and four other over­seas de­fen­dants had not been served with the pa­per­work. But Jus­tice John Bond said he found it dif­fi­cult to be­lieve Mr Mensink was obliv­i­ous to court pro­ceed­ings in the wake of QN’s col­lapse with $ 300 mil­lion in debts. “The propo­si­tion you are ask­ing me to ac­cept is de­spite the things that are hap­pen­ing in the Fed­eral Court, Mr Mensink is swan­ning around the world un­con­tactable by you or ( his lawyer) and is not likely to con­tact ei­ther you or ... any­one?” Jus­tice Bond said to Mr Palmer.

The for­mer politi­cian replied he had not heard from Mr Mensink and hit out at the liq­uida­tors for not do­ing more to find him.

“If I was in the plain­tiff’s po­si­tion I cer­tainly would have writ­ten to the At­tor­ney- Gen­eral, the Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs, to see where his pass­ports were be­ing used,” he said. “Did they make any credit checks, where his credit card was be­ing used. There doesn’t seem to be any at­tempt to do the nor­mal things you would do in a sit­u­a­tion like this.”

The liq­uida­tors’ bar­ris­ter, Shane Doyle QC, noted the other four de­fen­dants liv­ing over­seas were “not fugi­tives from war­rants is­sued in this coun­try” like Mr Mensink.

Jus­tice Bond or­dered that Mr Mensink’s pa­per­work could be served in sub­sti­tu­tion on Mr Palmer and his lawyer Sam Iskan­der.

He also set down a hear­ing for the as­set freez­ing or­der on Au­gust 23.

The liq­uida­tors – try­ing to claw back $ 70 mil­lion of tax­pay­ers’ money forked out for em­ployee en­ti­tle­ments – ar­gued there was a fear Mr Palmer was dis­tribut­ing “sub­stan­tial as­sets”, in­clud­ing the head­quar­ters of his com­pany Min­er­al­ogy which sold for $ 23 mil­lion last month.

Mr Palmer, who lunched across the road from the court­house yes­ter­day, said he was “tempted” to think about a re­turn to

pol­i­tics.

HIS AT­TI­TUDE SEEMS TO BE THAT HE’S LEFT AUS­TRALIA FOR GOOD CLIVE PALMER ON HIS NEPHEW AND FOR­MER QUEENS­LAND NICKEL DI­REC­TOR CLIVE MENSINK

LE­GAL SHOW­DOWN: Clive Palmer out­side court yes­ter­day and ( right) Clive Mensink.

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