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April 22, 2021

Palmer to sue Murdoch over ‘fake news’

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Clive Palmer says he plans to sue media mogul Rupert Murdoch over a story in his flagship publication about the former Queensland federal MP’s ongoing legal battle with Queensland Nickel liquidators.

The story published on The Australian’s front page on Friday reports liquidators are trying to claw back $7.6 million paid to Mr Palmer’s father-in-law Alexander Sokolov by Queensland Nickel.

The failed company is at the centre of a complex legal battle over the misuse of company funds as liquidators look to resolve debts of about $300 million.

In February, Mr Palmer told the court he authorised Queensland Nickel to pay $US8 million ($A10 million) to Mr Sokolov “in exchange for natural love”.

In a post on Facebook early on Friday, Mr Palmer said the article was a lie made up “by US citizen Rupert Murdoch who seeks to lie to the Australian people about me and my family” and he will sue him for $100 million.

Mr Murdoch owns News Corp, the publisher of The Australian.

“As the Australian well knows, and the audited accounts of the Queensland Nickel joint venture disclose, all amounts set out in the Australian article were not at any time the property of Queensland Nickel,” the post continues.

“I have decided to bring Mr Murdoch to account for his direction of journalists to create fake news in effort to embarrass me.”

Mr Palmer said Mr Murdoch was “hiding in New York from the wrath of the Australian people” and said Australian media needed more diverse ownership.

The Australian reports Mr Sokolov is in Sofia, Bulgaria caring for his sick wife, Stilyana, something Mr Palmer denied on Facebook, saying she is well and in Brisbane.

The company’s demise cost 800 Townsville refinery workers their jobs.

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