Clive Palmer loses court battle with The Australian

SUNSHINE Coast Federal MP Clive Frederick Palmer has lost a court battle with Nationwide News and two of its most respected journalists who he claimed defamed him in a series of articles about his business interests.

Palmer claimed the articles, published in The Australian on June 17, June 18, July 9, July 11 and December 9, 2013, used certain words that had defamatory imputations.

The Hedley Thomas and Adam Shand written articles carried headlines such as "Palmer warns Chinese 1000 jobs threatened if cash does not come his way," "Palmer may forfeit port rights" and "Letter shows bitterness of Palmer's China rift".

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard that in one of the articles Palmer claimed he had been defamed because the way the article was written would lead an ordinary person to believe he lacked judgment, efficiency, capacity and competence to manage his company Mineralogy.

Palmer also claimed the article alluded to him being insolvent, that he had lied to the public and made false claims about his wealth and he lacked the capability, judgment and competence to make good operational decisions in the businesses of the companies he controlled.

In another article Palmer claimed words used in the article could mean he lacked the skill, capability, judgment or competence to ensure that a company of which he was in charge, Mineralogy, had the credentials and ability to operate the Port of Cape Preston.

In the final article Palmer claimed it was written to portray him as a cruel and hostile person who, out of intense animosity and extreme acrimony, was willing to put at risk billions of dollars of investment in Australia and had threatened to disrupt commercial and political relationships between Australia and China.

Justice David Boddice saw things differently saying none of the words was capable of conveying the defamatory imputations as claimed.

He ordered written submissions as to the costs, which Palmer is required to pay after losing the case, be finalised before August 7.

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