By Humphrey Carter
ONE of the biggest financial investigations in the history of Australia and Majorca may be re-opened.
The “Chase for Skase” could be about to start all over again after his widow Pixie made her long awaited return to Australia last week.
Christopher Skase, Australia's leading media tycoon in the 1980s, fled to Majorca in 1991 with personal debts of $170 million and corporate debts of $1.7 billion.

He fought off extradition attempts by the Australian government on health grounds and remained in Andratx, while being treated for emphysema in Palma and Valencia, until his death in August of 2001.

He was buried in Palma, his widow moved to England and the 10-year-old Chase for Skase, which cost the Australia government nearly $3 million, was declared over with none of the missing millions ever recovered.

However, Pixie Skase's surprise visit to Melbourne to see family may have been a bold but risky move and the Federal Government has said that investigations could be reopened.

Pixie Skase's visit was her first since her husband's death and, despite being advised last year by bankruptcy trustee Max Donnelly, that Skase had few assets left, a spokeswoman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has said the government would consider any request from Mr Donnelly to reopen the case. “It is open to the trustee for bankruptcy Mr Donnelly to review the circumstances now that Mrs Skase is back in Australia,” she said. “Should Mr Donnelly consider it appropriate to take further steps in his investigation, the government would certainly consider that.” For the moment, Mr Donnelly is keeping his options open and said this week that, as far as he was aware Mrs Skase's assets only consisted of a $1-million payout from her husband's life insurance policy - which was not available for creditors. “But, if I became aware that she has access or control of any of her husband's assets then I may pursue it further,” he said.
He said the investigation would only be reopened if there was “any financial or public benefit”. “I don't propose to do anything with what I know now,” he said. “The Government has already spent a substantial amount of money on this case.” Since returning to Australia and visiting her daughters in Melbourne, Pixie Skase has gone missing.
Mrs Skase's close friend and confidant, Melbourne socialite Lillian Frank, said Pixie had not contacted her and she did not know where she was. “Darling, everyone is asking me that and I honestly don't know where she is,” Ms Frank said.


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