Clive Palmer v Mark McGowan defamation case LIVE updates: WA Attorney-General back in court
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Palmer’s lawyers want Quigley’s evidence disallowed
Clive Palmer’s lawyer Peter Gray SC wants Western Australian Attorney General John Quigley’s evidence disallowed because it is “misleading and confusing”.
Justice Michael Lee said he would not exclude the evidence.
“I don’t think I’m going to be misled or confused. This is a trial by Judge, I don’t think I’m going to be misled or confused by this evidence nor do I think that is a realistic possibility that will occur,” he said.
“The fact is that it does not seem to be a contest between the parties as to the timing in which it is likely that Mr Quigley and others became aware of the risk associated with the registration of the award.”
He said he will be the one to judge Mr Quigley’s credit and the reliability of his answers given during his first round of evidence.
Quigley was ‘depressed’ after incorrect evidence
Attorney General John Quigley is being cross-examined once again and has revealed he looked “depressed” after giving his original evidence on March 9.
Clive Palmer’s lawyer Peter Gray SC is grilling Mr Quigley on his new evidence.
Mr Gray said Mr Quigley would have had the new writ for more than a month, which would mean it did not come as a surprise to the Attorney General.
Clive Palmer outside Federal Court on 14 February.Credit:Brook Mitchell
Mr Gray is now asking Mr Quigley who he discussed the evidence he gave on March 9 with and how he came to think it was incorrect after repeatedly telling the court it was the truth.
Mr Quigley said his chief of staff Colleen Egan told him his evidence may have been wrong, which prompted him to go and look at cabinet documents on August 11 to confirm when he first became aware of the risks associated with Clive Palmer registering his arbitral award before the anti-Palmer legislation passed parliament.
Mr Quigley said he did not speak to the Premier Mark McGowan’s office about his evidence.
“I was looking very depressed and people said just keep on going,” he said.
The trial keeps stalling because Mr Quigley’s evidence keeps steering towards cabinet material, which is subject to privilege.
Lawyers for the government continue to object to questioning that could lead to any cabinet deliberations being aired in court.
Palmer v McGowan: a timeline
A timeline of the key events from April to September 2020 that led to this action.
Quigley takes the stand
Good morning and welcome back to the McGowan v Palmer defamation trial that, with any luck, will be finalised today.
We start the day with Attorney General John Quigley taking the stand in the Federal Court in Sydney to be re-examined after he made “mistakes” during his first appearance.
Those mistakes revolved around when Mr Quigley became aware that Clive Palmer may have been able to beat legislation he read into parliament after 5pm to stop a $30 billion damages claim over a stalled iron ore project in August 2020.
WA Attorney General John Quigley.Credit:Philip Gostelow
Had Mr Palmer registered his damages claim in an Australian court before the legislation passed it may have circumvented the extraordinary legislation.
Mr Quigley’s evidence in the trial contradicted public statements he made during an ABC interview in 2020.
During that interview he said the 5pm afternoon tabling of the ‘anti-Palmer’ legislation on August 11 had been done to stop Mr Palmer from registering his arbitration award in other Australian courts because they would be closed.
However, during the trial he said he did not know about the risk of Mr Palmer registering his award before the legislation was read into parliament.
Under questioning from the WA government’s lawyer Bret Walker SC Mr Quigley said he first became aware of the risks before a cabinet meeting on August 11.
He conceded he gave “inaccurate evidence to the court” and said he had “memory failure”.
He said when submitting his sworn affidavit he was made aware of a writ served on WA solicitor general Nicholas Egan, Mr Quigley himself and Mr McGowan by Mr Palmer for an allegation of unlawful conspiracy.
The unlawful conspiracy claim was worth $50 million.
Mr Quigley said this claim meant Mr Egan was unable to provide legal advice to him on the defamation case at the time he was due to give his evidence because there was a potential for a conflict of interest in that legal challenge.
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