Clive seeks Queensland Nickel trial delay

IT TOOK more than two years, three judges and countless adjournments to get Clive Palmer into court for a trial over the collapse of Queensland Nickel.

The billionaire businessman will defend a massive Federal Government lawsuit against him and nephew Clive Mensink over the liquidation of his Townsville nickel refinery which left hundreds without a job.

 

Government-appointed liquidators of QN have brought the former federal MP to Brisbane Supreme Court in a bid to claw back about $200 million owed to creditors after it shut down in early 2016.

Day one of the trial was a washout on Monday after Justice Debra Mullins agreed to delay the battle so the warring parties could sit down for talks.

It's expected to kick off again today but first, the court will consider Mr Palmer's last-minute legal bid to postpone it because an expert defence witness is reportedly "incapacitated".

Court documents lodged last Thursday say former liquidator Peter Dinoris is unavailable to testify that Mr Palmer did not act as a shadow director or trade while insolvent, The Australian has reported.

If the trial is not delayed, Mr Palmer argues he will be denied natural justice and suffer "very significant prejudice".

Mr Palmer has already fought hard to have the liquidators' claim dismissed, having described it as baseless and a desperate, politically-motivated attack.

The 280-page claim, first lodged in the court in June 2017, names 21 defendants, including Mr Palmer's nephew Mr Mensink and a string of Mr Palmer's companies.

The liquidators' task also includes recovering almost $70 million in taxpayer funds used to cover unpaid entitlements to about 800 workers sacked from the refinery.

The trial is expected to run for 45 days before Justice Mullins, who took over proceedings after Justices John Bond and David Jackson recused themselves.

Mr Palmer is representing himself.


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