'She’s a woman you paid a million dollars to, Mr Palmer'
CLIVE Palmer has lashed out during intense questioning involving a mystery woman from Kyrgyzstan who was given $1 million of Queensland Nickel's money.
Mr Palmer said Evgenia Bednova, who he described as being aged 35-40, 6ft tall and of medium build, was paid for "looking at mineral opportunities" in the country in Central Asia.
"We needed someone to deal with industry over there ... (she) acted as our representative over there," he said.
The court was told he ordered his other company, Mineralogy, to pay $250,000 to charter a flight for Ms Bednova to travel from Kyrgyzstan to Singapore, where he was attending a conference in 2011.
"I was at a Forbes conference in Singapore ... she could have been there," Mr Palmer said.
Barrister Walter Sofronoff QC, acting for liquidators FTI Consulting, asked Mr Palmer if there "was anyone else from Kyrgyzstan there" and he said he couldn't recall.
"Do you recall her jet arriving in Singapore and you meeting (her)," Mr Sofronoff said.
Mr Palmer demanded his lawyer object to the line of questioning, which he described as "absolute rubbish".
Mr Sofronoff said "she's a woman you paid a million dollars to, Mr Palmer", and the mining magnate was ordered to respond to the questioning by Registrar Murray Belcher.
Mr Palmer said the plane was chartered for security reasons.
Earlier Mr Palmer said former Queensland Nickel employees should be "thankful" for him, and the millions of dollars he ripped from the company's coffers was his to spend.
The eccentric mining magnate talked at length outside the Federal Court in Brisbane this morning as he prepares to again give evidence at a public examination into the company's collapse last year.
QN plunged into voluntary administration last January, with $300 million in debts and almost 800 jobs were lost.
But Mr Palmer, responding to questions from journalists, agreed the workers should be "thankful" for him as he took over the company from BHP when it was poised to "dismiss" staff.
"Yeah they should be (thankful) because they wouldn't have had a job for seven years, he said.
The court was told yesterday that Mr Palmer ordered more than $40 million to be transferred from QN's accounts to other entities and people, including $15 million to himself and $8 million to his father-in-law.
Mr Palmer was at pains this morning to point out the money was his to deal with as he saw fit.
"At the end of the day the money we are dealing with is money that is my personal money just like your money is personally in your bank account ...," he claimed.
Mr Palmer is back in the witness box this morning to give evidence at the hearing, which aims to gather evidence to claw back money for creditors, including the $70 million owed to taxpayers.