Police say Palmer not aware of Crook investigation

Sunshine Coast MP Clive Palmer talks to ABC as he attempts to visit the offices of his arrested media advisor Andrew Crook
Sunshine Coast MP Clive Palmer talks to ABC as he attempts to visit the offices of his arrested media advisor Andrew Crook

 

  • Clive Palmer's key media advisor Andrew Crook has been arrested.
  • Queensland Police believe he is linked to a kidnapping plot which unfolded in Indonesia
  • Mr Palmer is not considered to be involved
  • The Sunshine Coast MP and billionaire says he fears the arrest could be 'politically motivated'

[6:00 PM]

ACCUSED of helping to orchestrate an international criminal plot, Clive Palmer's media adviser Andrew Crook sat in the Brisbane Magistrates Court barefoot and his hands clasped in his lap.

Mr Crook, 48, and former police officer Michael Featherstone, 51, appeared in the court on Friday charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, attempted fraud and retaliating against a witness. They were both granted bail.

A warrant has been issued for former AFL player Anthony "Tony" Smith, 48, who lives in Indonesia.

Police stressed Mr Palmer had no knowledge of the alleged incidents and was not aware of the investigations until yesterday.

 

[12:00 PM] Newman shrugs off Palmer claims of a plot targeting Crook

QUEENSLAND Queensland Premier Campbell Newman dismissed suggestions the arrest of Clive Palmer's media adviser Andrew Crook was politically motivated.

Asked if the arrests were politically motivated Mr Newman said he had no knowledge of Mr Crook's arrest until the public did and said Mr Palmer had a history of blaming the LNP for his misfortunes.

"The first time I heard about it was about an hour and a half ago. So no," he said.

"You know it's the normal sort of thing we've come to expect from Mr Palmer."
 

 

[11.15AM] Palmer: Crook's arrest could be a plot by LNP

MINING magnate and Sunshine Coast MP Clive Palmer has described the arrest of his key media advisor Andrew Crook as a "black day for Australia" if it turns out to be politically motivated.

The Sunshine Coast MP told APN that Palmer United Party's plans for next year's state election were in media advisor Andrew Crook's office, which was raided by police this morning as part of an investigation into the alleged kidnapping of a National Australia Bank executive in Indonesia.

Andrew Crook was arrested by police following the raid.

"Our concern, I guess, is that all of our plans for the state election; advertising for the election and the issues we intend to run on would have been contained within his office," Mr Palmer said.

"So we're just concerned that the integrity is preserved of those documents."

The Fairfax MP was driving from Sunshine Coast to Brisbane this morning when he learned about the raid.

He said he went to Mr Crook's office immediately but was told he could not talk to Mr Crook.

Mr Crook's computers were seized by Taskforce Maxima, the anti-bikie arm of Queensland Police.

 

While conceding he had no idea of the allegations, nor if they concerned him personally, Mr Palmer said it could by a ploy by Premier Campbell Newman's government to attack his party ahead of the state election.

"I don't know whether there's any force to the allegations against Mr Crook, I don't know," Mr Palmer said.

"But I can just say as someone who has retained his firm that we are concerned that our information remains confidential."

He said he would continue to retain the services of Mr Crook's firm, Crook Media.

"I think every citizen of the country has got rights and the fact that Campbell Newman sent the police in to investigate somebody shouldn't be surprising," he said.

Earlier today, Mr Crook was described as having been "detained" by police -- ABC is now reporting he has been formally arrested.

Mick Featherstone -- a former senior detective turned private investigator -- has also been arrested at his home on the Gold Coast.

His arrest follows a year-long investigation into money laundering by the state's Crime and Corruption Commission.

Andrew Crook
Andrew Crook

 

Clive Palmer's advisor held in relation to alleged kidnapping

CLIVE Palmer's media advisor Andrew Crook has been detained in police raids as part of an investigation into the alleged kidnapping of a National Australia Bank executive in Indonesia.

ABC is reporting that Queensland's Taskforce Maxima detained Mr Crook at his Brisbane home.

Mr Crook handles all media relations for the Palmer United Party leader and member for Fairfax.

He is also understood to be a close friend of Mr Palmer.

ABC reports that police believe the men threatened and coerced a witness in a lawsuit.

The allegations relate to an bizarre plot from January 2013 in which a senior executive from NAB was apparently lured to Singapore, then on to Indonesia's Battle Island.

An offer of a high-paying job with Mr Palmer was reportedly used as the carrot.

ABC reports that once he arrived, the executive was strip searched then forced to recant court evidence.

Mr Palmer is not considered to have had any knowledge of the plot.

The Sunshine Coast MP reportedly learned of Mr Crook's police detention as he arrived at the media advisor's office.

Mr Palmer said he has no knowledge of the allegations and warned that they may be politically motivated.

"The timing seems a little bit strange... it does seem coincidental that this is happening just before the state election," he told Fairfax Media.

He said police had seized Mr Crook's computers which contained key strategies for Mr Palmer and his Palmer United Party ahead of the state poll.

Fairfax reports Mr Palmer also compared Mr Crook's detention with police to that of jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste, currently being held in Egypt.

Police have also issued a warrant to arrest multi-millionaire developer and former Sydney Swans AFL player Tony Smith, who lived in Bali.

Queensland Police are expected to hold a media conference later today.

More to come



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