Lawyers for Clive Palmer have accused his estranged business partner CITIC Pacific of trying to drum up "damaging publicity" for the mining magnate-cum-MP over fraud allegations it has levelled against him.
In the Queensland Supreme Court yesterday, Thomas Bradley applied to have media access to documents on CITIC's claim against Mr Palmer and his companies for more than $12 million curtailed and the entire case thrown out. CITIC alleges Mr Palmer siphoned the money it had deposited into a bank account into campaign spending for last year's Federal election, but Mr Bradley countered the case against his client was an abuse of process.
Mr Bradley said the money had been paid back into the bank account in May, which CITIC knew.
Mr Bradley said evidence the case was an abuse of the process was the fact that after CITIC's lawyers filed its claim in court on Wednesday, July 23, the Australian newspaper published details online at midnight while Mr Palmer was not personally served papers until July 26 and his company Cosmo Developments on July 28.
Mr Bradley said if CITIC had filed in the WA Supreme Court, its statement of claim would not have been publicly available but it filed in Queensland to "obtain damaging publicity".
Justice David Jackson said it was not unusual for claims to be filed against a person in their home State, noting Mr Palmer lived in Queensland.