Criminal charges are ‘nonsense’: Palmer

Clive Palmer has told a court that ASIC's criminal case against him is nonsense.

Clive Palmer has told a court that ASIC's criminal case against him is nonsense. Photo: AAP

Billionaire businessman Clive Palmer has launched a scathing attack on “nonsense” criminal fraud charges against him, claiming they’re a bid to “do him slowly” with no real prospect of conviction.

Mr Palmer and his company Palmer Leisure Coolum have brought civil action in the Supreme Court to try to stay criminal proceedings being heard in Brisbane Magistrates Court.

The mining magnate addressed the court on Tuesday, insisting he had been charged only because he was a billionaire and a public figure.

He faces two counts of dishonestly using his position as a director and two counts of dishonestly gaining a benefit or advantage.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission alleges that in 2013, Mr Palmer dishonestly obtained a benefit or advantage for his company Cosmo Developments and the Palmer United Party – transferring $10 million from his business Mineralogy.

He’s also accused of dishonestly obtaining a benefit or advantage for advertising company Media Circus Network, which ran his party’s election marketing and advertising campaign injecting $2.1 million in funds.

The billionaire was jovial as he arrived at the Brisbane court, declining to comment to media as he joined his legal team.

Once at the bar table, the billionaire was all business as he claimed the prosecution brought the administration of justice into disrepute with no real prospect of success.

“The proceedings before the magistrate court is an abuse of process and their existence has brought and continues to bring the administration of justice into disrepute,” Mr Palmer told the court.

He dismissed the prosecution as “nonsense” and “embarrassing”, saying it should be permanently stayed.

Mr Palmer argued that the matters had been partially dealt with by a superior court and the prosecution in the magistrates court was an abuse of process bringing “unfairness and oppression” to the accused.

He submitted the prosecution had no “real victims” and would cost taxpayers millions of dollars. He said it was his duty as a citizen to challenge the proceedings.

“Who are the victims? It can only be me,” Mr Palmer said.

The political renegade argued he was being “unfairly targeted” and in the words of former Labor prime minister Paul Keating it was a calculated bid to “do him slowly”.

“These types of prosecution only happen to happen to national political leaders,” Mr Palmer said.

“In my case, I have only ever been charged with a criminal offence after a superior court has found to the contrary, and after I became a billionaire and after I entered public office.

“Maybe this is a prerequisite for charges of this nature.”

The case continues.


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