Palmer loses bid to have case thrown out
BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer has lost a last-ditch bid to have criminal charges brought against him dropped.
Mr Palmer was charged by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission in February 2018 for allegedly aiding, abetting or counselling the commission of an offence by another person, namely his business Palmer Leisure Coolum (PLC).
ASIC alleges in June 2012, PLC breached the Corporations Act by publicly professing to make a takeover bid for villa timeshare scheme The Presidents Club, but failed to make an offer for securities in the company within the prescribed two month period.
Palmer has spent almost two years battling to have the charges dismissed, first lodging an unsuccessful no-case-to-answer application in the Magistrates Court in April 2018.
He then launched a bid in the Supreme Court to have the charges thrown out, claiming they were an abuse of process and that the shares were not a security under the law and therefore not a breach of the act.
As part of his defence, Mr Palmer claimed he had been the victim of an orchestrated scheme by senior government officials who had vowed to "get him" and foil his plans to return to politics.
That application was dismissed and today an appeal of that decision was also thrown out by the Court of Appeal.
"I would affirm the primary judge's conclusion that the allegations made by the appellants do not provide any reasonable basis for concluding that the Court ought to have a sense of disquiet about ASIC's and CDPP's decisions to prosecute …" the appeal judges wrote.
"I conclude that there was no reasonably arguable substance in any of the argued bases for the appellants' claims that the committal proceedings should be permanently stayed."
The judges wrote Palmer's claims were "untenable" and "lacked any reasonable basis, were vexatious, and were correctly struck out".
In February, Palmer was also hit with fraud charges by ASIC and could face five years imprisonment if convicted.