Clive Palmer has been stewing for years over comments made by then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Now he’s planning to do something about it.
Clive Palmer has been stewing for years over comments made by then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Now he’s planning to do something about it.

Turnbull’s ‘crook’ burn that sent Clive running to lawyers

AUSTRALIA'S two richest former politicians appear headed to a courtroom battle after Clive Palmer announced an "imminent" defamation case against Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Palmer, a billionaire and regular in courts, claims Mr Turnbull, a former barrister worth more than $100 million, caused "immense damage" to his reputation after the $300 million collapse of Queensland Nickel in 2016.

Clive Palmer and Malcolm Turnbull in friendlier days after a secret dinner meeting
Clive Palmer and Malcolm Turnbull in friendlier days after a secret dinner meeting

No documents have been lodged in the court but it is believed Mr Palmer will pursue Mr Turnbull over alleged comments suggesting the mining magnate had siphoned money from Queensland Nickel and was a crook.

A spokesman for Mr Palmer, a former member for Fairfax and failed Senate candidate, said defamation documents would be lodged "imminently".

"Malcolm Turnbull is a bitter and twisted troublemaker who has caused me considerable personal damage and needs to be accountable for the damage he has wilfully inflicted upon me and my family," Mr Palmer said.

Experienced litigant Clive Palmer is planning to make another trip to court to sue former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull for defamation.
Experienced litigant Clive Palmer is planning to make another trip to court to sue former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull for defamation.

He said buried within the reams of transcripts from his multiple hearings in the Supreme Court over the Queensland Nickel collapse was acknowledgment the claims were defamatory.

"(They) will now be pursued by me so there can be no doubt of his true character and the untruths he and people like him have propagated about me," he said.

Mr Turnbull, who was prime minister at the time of the Queensland Nickel collapse and had been scathing of Mr Palmer's handling of the company, has not responded to a request for comment.

In 2017, Mr Palmer launched separate $10 million lawsuits against Mr Turnbull and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash claiming comments they made implied he was "greedy and self-serving".

The actions was later quietly dropped.

Mr Palmer's latest move comes days after it was revealed the Australian Securities and Investments Commission had laid fraud charges against him relating to payments made by his company Mineralogy and linked it to his dispute with his estranged Chinese business partners Citic. He denies wrongdoing.

Mr Palmer spent more than $80 million on advertising for his United Australia Party before the 2019 election but failed to win any seats.