Clive Palmer and his United Party have struck back against the West Australian government over an investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds from Chinese mining company Citic.
It was reported yesterday that the WA Major Fraud Squad have begun their investigation into allegations that Palmer spent $10 million of the company’s money on his election campaign and used a further $2.167 million for other purposes.
A spokesperson for Palmer and his company Mineralogy questioned why the investigation was being carried out by WA police and not in Queensland.
“If Citic Limited had legitimate concerns, the correct course of action would be to complain to Queensland authorities,” he said.
“Allegations filed by Citic Limited refer to alleged matters which took place in Queensland and had nothing to do with WA jurisdiction.”
The dispute between Citic and Palmer relates to funds that were deposited with Mineralogy to cover costs of operating a port at Cape Preston (in Western Australia) for their mine tenements owned by Palmer’s company.
The spokesperson also said the level of detail released to the media by WA Police and commissioner Stephen Brown has “seriously prejudiced Mr Palmer’s rights to a fair and proper investigation”, however over the past year Palmer has already aired his legal problems and grievances with Citic extensively in the media, including on the ABC program Q&A, where he ranted that the Chinese were “bastards” and “mongrels”.
Palmer’s spokesman suggested the investigation was politically motivated, and implied that WA premier Colin Barnett was motivated against Palmer over a court ruling in favour of Mineralogy in May 2014, which Palmer’s spokesman said exposed the WA state government to “potentially billions of dollars in damages”.
“The fact that Clive Palmer is a commercial and political opponent, and that the Palmer United Party now has a WA representative in the Australian Senate, demonstrates the political nature of this investigation,” he said.
Palmer’s spokesman also said the timing of the investigation, immediately before the Victorian state election, highlighted the political nature of the investigation.
Palmer said Barnett was seeking to strengthen ties with the Chinese state-owned enterprise for further investment and revenue.
“None of these matters should involve the Western Australian police because the allegations are in relation to funds being spent from Queensland,” Palmer said.
“Allegations made by Citic Limited are untrue. Neither Mineralogy nor I have the funds as alleged.
“Citic Limited are doing this to hide the fact that they owe hundreds of millions of dollars to Mineralogy and are trying to gain control of an Australian court which is against the interests of the people of WA and all Australians.”