Palmer in final bid to have charges thrown out

LAWYERS for one of Clive Palmer's companies claim they were only prosecuted by ASIC as a means to get to the failed politician.

The besieged businessman in February launched a last-ditch bid to have charges laid by the corporate watchdog thrown out of court.

Palmer and his company Palmer Leisure Coolum had previously lodged a civil claim in the Supreme Court asking for criminal proceedings before the Magistrates Court to be permanently stayed.

But earlier this year, Justice Soraya Ryan threw out the dismissal application, sending the charges back to the lower court.

Palmer has appealed this decision.

Palmer was charged by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in February last year for allegedly aiding, abetting or counselling the commission of an offence by another person, namely his business Palmer Leisure Coolum.

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.

ASIC alleges Mr Palmer aided, abetted, counselled or procured the company to do so.

In Mr Palmer's final attempt to have the charges dismissed, the Queensland Court of Appeal today heard claims the charges were "doomed to fail".

Barrister for Palmer Leisure Christopher Ward SC said new evidence that had been obtained under Freedom of Information laws showed the Commissioner of ASIC had written to the "minister's office" about the charges against Palmer.

"The prosecution of the corporate client was for the dominant purpose of being able to access the prosecution of Mr Palmer," Dr Ward told the court.

The court also heard Palmer had claimed in his pleadings he had forwarded legal advice to the Director of Public Prosecutions which showed their charges were "doomed to fail" and the fact they did not discontinue the charges led to "disquiet" and a "sense of impropriety".

The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision.

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