MENSINK’S GONE FOR GOOD: CLIVE
Palmer doubts his fugitive nephew will face the music
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
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.