Mineralogy claims vindication over civil fraud case

Following Clive Palmer’s win in the Supreme Court against Chinese-owned miner Citic Pacific last month, the director of Mineralogy has said the lack of appeal vindicated the result.

Clive Mensink said the Chinese miner’s case against Mineralogy over allegations of misappropriation of funds was “doomed to failure from the start”, with the result raising questions about why Citic, a Chinese-state owned company, had been allowed to waste the court’s time over baseless allegations.

It was alleged Palmer took more than $12 million from a fund set up to manage the port for the Sino Iron Ore project, and used the money to bankroll two companies involved with his political campaign.

“The appeal period has passed and we have not seen an appeal from Citic Limited which demonstrates they never thought they could win,” Mensink said.

“Citic Limited spent a fortune on lawyers and PR in an attempt to intimidate Clive Palmer and tied up the court’s valuable time, yet their case was doomed to failure from the start.

“They have brought Mr Palmer’s name into disrepute and just walked away.”

A confidential inquiry into Mineralogy’s use of funds from Citic said the conduct of Palmer and his confidants appeared “dishonest” and “fraudulent

The confidential judgement was produced in November 2014, and leaked to The Australian last week.

Former Supreme Court judge Richard Chesterman said it could not be accepted that the withdrawal of the Chinese funds were not for legitimate purposes under the deeds of the fund.

The recent Supreme Court finding hinged on the fact that there was not a formal legal “trust” by which Mineralogy held the funds in question.

However, Chesterman’s inquiry found that Mineralogy executives were forced to admit claims made for the funds were unjustifiable and appeared fraudulent.

In one instance Palmer signed a cheque drawing of $10 million which was then paid into a bank account for the company Cosmo Developments, an account controlled by Palmer which was opened one week earlier.

“The administrative fund was quite blatantly misused by (Mineralogy),” Chesterman said.

“Given the number and ­nature of the ‘mistakes’ and ‘oversights’ to which (he) confessed, it is difficult to see how the payments could, in truth, be regarded as the product of mistake.”

Last year Clive Palmer made a firebrand appearance on television in which he called “the Chinese” a number of names, and said they were trying to steal Australian resources, and later apologised for the comments.

Image: Courier Mail

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