US businessmen to give evidence in Banks’ appeal

John Banks at the High Court at Auckland (Photo Credit: Victoria Young)

A meeting at Kim Dotcom's mansion during which electoral donations were discussed is likely to be revisited in John Banks' court case. 

The evidence of two American businessmen, said to be at the event where Mr Banks is said to have asked for donations to be split into two, will be presented to help the former MP's appeal. 

Earlier this year the former MP was convicted under Electoral Act charges but his sentence, delivered last month, has been deferred pending appeal.

His lawyer, David Jones QC, has confirmed the Court of Appeal will hear the case in Wellington on October 29.

NBR understands two American businessman, reported to be David Schaeffer and Jeffrey Karnes, who were apparently at Mr Dotcom’s house during a meeting between the German enterpreneur and Mr Banks and associates, will give evidence.

During the High Court trial, Mr Banks’ estranged wife Amanda had referred to the two businessmen, who she said had joined them for lunch.

Justice Ed Wylie had not accepted Mrs Banks’ evidence in regards to the two men, saying that there might have been businessmen visiting the house but no other relevant witness remembered them having lunch.

The judge ultimately concluded that Mrs Banks was not a reliable witness.

After his High Court sentencing, Mr Banks had said new witnesses had come forward and that those unnamed witnesses could not be located at the time of the trial.

He had maintained his innocence, saying he has never filed a false "anything," let alone a false electoral return.

While Mr Banks’ legal team has filed its appeal, the affidavits of evidence are not yet with the court.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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