Clive Palmer fails to appear in court as lawyers confirm he has COVID-19

Queensland businessman Clive Palmer was unable to personally plead his case in the Supreme Court on Wednesday because he contracted COVID-19.

A member of Mr Palmer’s legal team confirmed the billionaire’s diagnosis, two weeks after he was taken to hospital in an ambulance with ‘COVID-like symptoms’. A spokesman at the time said Mr Palmer was ‘just being tested’.

Clive Palmer in Federal Court on February 14.Credit:Brook Mitchell

Mr. Palmer was absent from the Supreme Court on Wednesday as it heard two of his cases, including one in which he was supposed to represent himself.

The procedure did not go well for the leader of the United Australia Party. His latest attempt to avoid criminal charges from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission appears doomed.

Mr Palmer was charged by the corporate regulator in July 2020 with two counts of dishonestly using his position as a director and fraudulently obtaining a benefit. According to ASIC, these charges carry a combined prison sentence of 10 to 17 years.

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The ASIC charges relate to the transfer of more than $12.1 million by Mr. Palmer between August 5, 2013 and September 5, 2013, through his company Mineralogy.

“[Mr Palmer transferred] $12,167,065.60 from a bank account held by Mineralogy to bank accounts held by Media Circus and Cosmo Developments, and ultimately used for the benefit of the Palmer United Party to fund its 2013 federal election campaign,” ASIC alleges.

“The funds were held by Mineralogy in accordance with existing agreements with other companies. The transfer and end use of the funds was not in accordance with these agreements.

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