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Palmer in second-round grilling over QN


Clive Palmer will front court on Wednesday for a second bout with Queensland Nickel's liquidators.

The former federal MP will be grilled in the Federal Court by lawyers acting for liquidators, FTI Consulting, who Mr Palmer is trying to have removed.

Mr Palmer has denied he's to blame for the demise of Queensland Nickel, which collapsed with debts of around $300 million, leaving around 800 Townsville refinery workers without jobs.

He claims the federal and state governments are to blame because they refused requests for a modest loan that would have allowed the company to trade out of trouble after world nickel prices slumped.

But FTI, Queensland Nickel's general purpose liquidators, have a different view.

In a report to creditors after the company went into administration just over a year ago, FTI said there was evidence Mr Palmer had been secretly running Queensland Nickel with the help of its sole registered director, his nephew Clive Mensink.

FTI also said there was evidence that Mr Palmer had used Queensland Nickel to bankroll his other businesses, and even his political party.

During his initial round of evidence in the Federal Court in September, Mr Palmer denied acting as a shadow director.

He admitted he had the authority to direct Queensland Nickel to make political donations, support his other companies, and even forgive loans to other companies he owned.

But he said there was nothing untoward about any of that, given Queensland Nickel was owned by companies that belonged entirely to him.

Last week, lawyers for FTI questioned Queensland Nickel's former chief financial officer Daren Wolfe about a deal that was inked just five days before the company was put in administration over debt concerns.

The deal, signed by Mr Mensink and Mr Palmer's wife Anna, committed Queensland Nickel to buying $135 million worth of shares in another of Mr Palmer's companies, China First, which then had recourse to go after Queensland Nickel's assets if the money wasn't paid.

© AAP 2017

Image - (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

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