Clive Palmer is skeptical of reports his nephew, wanted for questioning over the collapse of Queensland Nickel refinery, has been spotted in Bulgaria.
News Corp last week tracked Clive Mensink down to the Bulgarian capital of Sofia and photographed him leaving the cinemas after seeing 50 Shades Freed.
Mr Mensink appeared to have lost a significant amount of weight and now has a beard.
“When I last saw my nephew he looked nothing like that, so I don’t think they are him at all,” Mr Palmer told ABC radio on Sunday.
“I don’t believe he’s that trim and I don’t think it looks like him, it’s obviously been done by Photoshop.”
Mr Palmer rejected his nephew was on the run, and complimented the appearance of the woman photographed with him.
“By the looks of the young lady he was with, if it’s really true, she was a very attractive young woman,” Mr Palmer said.
“I wouldn’t be coming back to Australia too soon either.
Good on him. He’s single, he’s free. He’s got no responsibilities. Why shouldn’t he have a good time in Europe?
Mr Palmer said he didn’t know where Mr Mensink was and that they have not spoken.
In March last year, the Federal Court issued two warrants against Mr Mensink after he failed to appear in Brisbane for examination.
He had left Australia in June 2016, months after the Palmer-owned QN collapsed, leaving $300 million in debts and hundreds without a job.
Mr Palmer said the arrest warrants were being appealed.
Mr Mensink was with his Bulgarian girlfriend, Gabriela Konstantinova, and another friend when he was spotted last week.
“Mensink looked horrified and refused to answer News Corp’s questions as he ducked into a pedestrian subway after being approached last week,” the report said.
Ms Konstantinova defended him, saying “I don’t think it is correct to embarrass him and interrupt him”.
An Australian Federal Police spokesperson said they were aware an arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Mensink.
“The AFP is currently assisting the Federal Court of Australia in relation to this matter,” the spokesperson said.
Queensland’s Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said it was hurtful for families and workers to hear of Mr Mensink’s lavish life overseas.
“There are still many, many people in Townsville, many families in Townsville, who are still feeling the effect of the collapse of QN,” Ms Trad told reporters.
“It’s important that those who are responsible for its collapse come back to Australia, and answer questions. I think that’s only fair and that’s only reasonable. They should do the right thing by the people of Townsville.”
She said families were still trying to find work after the collapse.
“To see people who are responsible for QN’s collapse overseas and enjoying themselves, of course, it’s a kick in the guts,” she said.
“Clive Mensink should come back to Queensland and he should answer questions.”