Local News

Clive Palmer claims strong painkillers affected his memory in court testimony

He didn't want to be "accused of unwittingly giving false evidence".

By Kate Wagner
Clive Palmer seems to be having a rough trot of late.
The former MP arrived at the Federal Court clutching a vomit bag, with a breathing apparatus, pillow and blanket trailing behind.
Palmer was ordered to attend by Federal Court Justice John Dowsett after failing to appear on Tuesday, claiming he was too ill to attend.
Palmer is currently recovering from pancreatitis and is taking morphine-based medication, which he claims made him lose his memory.
His barrister, Andrew Boe, told the court his client had taken painkillers that morning, as well as over the last several days, which could make it difficult for Palmer to give an accurate account as he did not want to be "accused of unwittingly giving false evidence".
While breathing heavily and slumped in the witness box, Palmer tried to piece together his last conversation with Queensland Nickel director, his nephew Clive Mensink.
The businessman testified that he paid for two luxury cruises for his nephew Clive Mensink, but doesn't know where he is.
Mensink has an outstanding warrant for his arrest after failing to appear over the infamous collapse of Queensland Nickel, but is allegedly on an extended overseas holiday and contemplating "not coming home".
Palmer viewed his appearance at Brisbane court a "political witch-hunt" due to being heavily medicated.
He told assembled reporters that he'd taken the opioid Targin, also known as oxycodone, only hours earlier and said it caused memory problems.
"This is not about Queensland Nickel, this is whether a citizen under medication, which are narcotics, which require to be signed off in an act, should be dragged into court to give evidence and whether he can give evidence, because I can't remember my Amex PIN number for example," he said.
"This is just a confirmation that this is a political witch-hunt."
When journalists asked if he knew where his nephew was, he replied: "You don't want to spoil the show before it starts do you?"
The court heard Palmer had attempted to transfer Mensink $60,000 through European relatives and urge him to contact his solicitor and return to Australia.
Palmer expressed doubts Mensink, who has failed to attend court and answer questions about the collapse of Queensland Nickel since July last year, would return to Australia as he was mentally distressed.
"He said that the way he had been treated was a disaster. He said words to the effect he'd spent seven years keeping people employed and it wasn't fully appreciated," he said.
At the end of the proceedings, Justice Dowsett recommended Palmer abstain from painkillers and scheduled a hearing for next Tuesday.
"You're joking," Mr Palmer responded.
"He obviously hadn't taken [the pills] before the interview on television," Judge Dowsett added, referring to Palmer's appearance on Seven last week boasting of a new healthy lifestyle and weight loss.