Clive Palmer has arrived at court in Brisbane looking dishevelled, with one of his minders — speaking on his behalf — likening the former Queensland Nickel (QNI) boss’s forced appearance to something that would only happen in “Nazi Germany”.
Mr Palmer’s Federal Court appearance in Brisbane last Friday was adjourned after lawyers for the general purpose liquidators of QNI and the former federal MP agreed to postpone the hearing.
He was due to front a public examination into the collapse of Queensland Nickel refinery in Townsville.
After a no-show sick day on May 9, Mr Palmer was ordered by Justice John Dowsett to give evidence at a hearing the next day, when the special purpose liquidator had wanted to cross-examine him about the whereabouts of former QNI director Clive Mensink, Mr Palmer’s nephew.
Today, Mr Palmer looked dishevelled as he arrived in court carrying a sick bag, but there was no sign of the pillow or breathing device he brought with him last week.
The court was told today Mr Palmer would claim privilege over questions regarding company China First.
Upon Mr Palmer’s arrival at court, a man who refused to give his name read out a statement on his behalf.
“No amount of pressure will force me to withdraw my legal proceedings against Prime Minister Turnbull and Senator Cash, which I commenced last year,” the statement said.
“Today is about the Senate inquiry into [former Queensland premier] Campbell Newman and his Government and payback for me initiating that inquiry.
“Surgery and intensive care, pain and duress and currently on morphine, all confirmed by the court.
“Regardless I’m dragged into the court today — this would only happen in Nazi Germany — citizens’ rights, human rights need to be respected.
“Our justice system should be free from political interference but unfortunately it is not.
“I witnessed it during my 40 years in the Liberal National Party and at other times I’ve seen it at work — it makes you feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game.
“Love is greater than hate, God bless Australia.”
Before Mr Palmer took the stand his barrister Andrew Boe brought up his client’s “capacity to give reliable evidence as a result of medication”.
“Mr Palmer has in fact been taking further amounts of Targin in the last 24 hours,” Mr Boe said.
He said Mr Palmer “will attempt to do his best”.
Clive Mensink’s whereabouts unknown
Mr Mensink, who is the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant for repeatedly failed to appear in court, is on an extended overseas holiday, the court has been previously told.
Mr Palmer told the court last week that Mr Mensink was dissatisfied with how he was being treated in Australia and was contemplating not returning home.
Outside court on May 10, Mr Palmer said he had urged his nephew to see a doctor and talk about his problems and “then come back to Australia”.
On the same day, Mr Palmer said he was recovering from pancreatitis and was on a morphine-based medication, which he said made him lose his memory.
He had hobbled into court clutching a sick bag, a breathing apparatus, a pillow and a blanket.
Before proceedings began, Mr Palmer rested on a couch outside the courtroom, using the breathing device.
Queensland Nickel collapsed last year with $300 million in debt, leaving 800 people out of work.