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Dotcom 'offended' Banks asked him to be anonymous, wrote cheques to 'Team Banksie'

John Banks has lost his second High Court bid to throw out a charge he transmitted an electoral return knowing part of it was false when donations from SkyCity and Kim Dotcom’s Megastuff were shown as anonymous.

The lawyer for the former ACT leader, David Jones, QC, was at Auckland’s High Court last week arguing the charge should be thrown out because of insufficient evidence.

In a decision released last night, Justice Ed Wylie disagreed, saying all the evidence should be explored in a full trial.

“The ultimate resolution of this case must depend on the evidence, how it comes out at trial, and on the court’s view of the reliability and credibility of the various witnesses,” Justice Wylie says in his decision.

Under the Local Electoral Act, candidates convicted of submitting a false return – and knowing it to be false – can be jailed for up to two years and smacked with a $10,000 fine.

The electoral return was signed and transmitted in December 2010, after Mr Banks' failed Auckland mayoral campaign.

The case was originally brought by private prosecutor Graham McCready, a retired and bankrupt accountant, after the Serious Fraud Office declined to pursue the allegations.

Last week at the High Court Mr Jones sought to introduce new evidence from Mr Banks’ treasurer and adviser, Lance Hutchison, which he says Mr McCready did not fully explore at the District Court proceedings.

Mr Jones says Mr Hutchison’s evidence would show the decision to make a donation anonymous rested with him and another adviser, Michelle Boag, who has also given a recent statement of evidence.

Mr Banks claims he “flicked through” the donation part of the electoral return before signing and transmitting, but he didn’t scrutinise it.

The District Court has previously ruled there is enough evidence for a trial to proceed, and Mr Banks unsuccessfully tried to have that decision overturned at the High Court last year.

The Crown has taken over the case, and it has been transferred to the High Court and fast-tracked because of the election year. The judge-alone trial is set down for May in Auckland.

One donation was for $15,000 made by SkyCity Management in May 2010 and two more for $25,000 made by Megastuff on behalf of Mr Dotcom, which were received in June 2010.

Mr Dotcom, in his witness statement, says that Mr Banks and his wife came to his Coatesville mansion for lunch on June 9.

“Mr Dotcom says he offered to donate $50,000 to Mr Banks’ mayoral campaign, and that the offer was promptly accepted,” Justice Wylie says in his decision.

Mr Dotcom says that, in Mr Banks’ presence, he instructed his chief security officer, Wayne Tempero, to ask his chief financial officer, Grant McKavanagh, to prepare a cheque.

Mr Banks asked for the donation to be split into two cheques, each for $25,000, so that he would not have to declare where they came from, Mr Dotcom’s evidence says.  

“Mr Dotcom says he was a little offended by this explanation, as he felt that it implied that Mr Banks did not want to be seen to be associated with him. Mr Dotcom says that he told Mr Banks that he did not have a problem with it being known that he had made a donation to him. He says that Mr Banks responded that he wanted to help Mr Dotcom, and that he could help him more effectively if no one knew about the donation,” Justice Wylie says in his decision.

Mr Dotcom says in his witness statement that two cheques were prepared by Mr McKavanagh and they were made out to “Team Banksie”. Mr Dotcom cannot remember whether the cheques were signed during or after his meeting with Mr Banks, the recent court decision says.

RAW DATA: Judgment (PDF)151.6 KB

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Comments and questions

Time for white collar to do some time - he wont ever go to jail but how about 200 hours community service?

This was NEVER supposed to happen - was it?

GOOD WORK Graham McCready!

Dodgy John is going..... going ......

Monday 19 May 2014, Auckland High Court, case is set down for 10 days.

Penny Bright

Paid your rates bill yet Penny ?

Absolutely not.

I'm still neither a SHEEP nor a SLAVE, and will NOT pay Auckland Council rates when they are not lawfully complying with the Local Government Act 2002, and the Public Records Act 2005, and providing the 'devilish detail' explaining EXACTLY where rates monies are being spent:

The NAMES of the consultants /contractors
The SCOPE of the contracts
The TERM of the contracts
The VALUE of the contracts

You may not believe in transparency or democratic accountability, (which are our lawful rights as citizens) - I do.

(I'm actually making a stand which cannot be ignored for YOUR rights, but unfortunately, there are none so blind as those who WILL not see? )

Kind regards,

Penny Bright

MR BANKS is not the only one that does not want to be associated with MRDOTCOM.

That is an interesting notion, which was brought up in court last week. Banks' lawyer, Mr Jones, reminded the judge that Mr Dotcom was himself anonymous at that time. The donations were made in June 2010. Many people did not know who Kim Dotcom was before the 2012 raids.

As an Epsom voter, I can only say it will be good for our shame to go away.

The difference between the Herald and the NBR today on Mr Dotcom is very interesting.

And look at how much this is costing the taxpayer. Where is common sense in that?

@Hamiltonian, are you really suggesting that we should all just go, "Look, it's a bit pricey, all this law and order stuff. Let's give him the day off."

I thought Act supporters were supposed to be all about law and order.

Imagine what it'll cost if he goes inside! Yep, John Banks, a blight on the taxpayer, alright.

Hey, right wingers, don't give up hope. He's still got his day in court.

Although he doesn't look very excited at the prospect of proving his innocence, does he. Funny, that. Wonder why?

An other ACT low actor .lets get epsom going forward

Court process has achieved its goal. Delayed the truth being heard, so that the government can go about its merry way of trickle up.

Its time justice is served, and this is just scratching the surface on what governments get up to.

Waste of court time and money

John Banks has said many times he has 'nothing to fear, nothing to hide'. Therefore, a court appearance will give him every opportunity to clear this matter up and draw a line under it.

In defense of Banksie, should he have recognized a cheque made out by Megastuff. Wouldn't he be looking for a cheque made out by Dotcom.

What a shame McCready couldn't do the same damage to Len Brown, who is a lot more deserving of a proper inquiry.

I totally agree that Auckland Mayor Len Brown is deserving of a proper inquiry.

Please be advised of the wording of the following petition, which should help to correct a serious flaw in the current process for making complaints for alleged bribery and corruption of 'officials' - including local government elected representatives, such as Auckland Mayor Len Brown:

"That the House please conduct an urgent inquiry as to why the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (SFO) treated a bribery and corruption complaint against Auckland Mayor Len Brown, as a 'serious and complex fraud' complaint, when it was not - particularly given New Zealand's perceived status as 'the least corrupt country in the world' (along with Denmark) in the 2013 Transparency International 'Corruption Perception Index.' "

There is more to come .....

Penny Bright

Offended? I'm somewhat offended that he feels he can buy our political (and by default, our legal processes) for his own ends. Mind you, rather mortified that some of our politicians and some members of the public have shown themselves so easily bought. Not our proudest moment...

If I understand this correctly, the return was completed after the election. Banks lost the election, so why does this even matter. I can only imagine that Michelle Boag will have given him the return to sign - he would have asked, is everything there and correct ? If he had won the election, I am guessing he would have spent some time checking the detail, but he lost....I know the left will argue the law is the law, however, this is about ensuring that power and influence cant be bought (not that this law does that). Once he lost the election, he had nothing to offer in terms of power to any donor let alone KDC.

Yes, you are correct in that the return was signed after the election. In fact, Banks' lawyer said in court "This was literally the last act of an unsuccessful campaign."

What the Crown is focused on is how Banks' allegedly set into motion a series of events, during the campaign period, which led to the 'anonymous' donation. This includes asking Kim Dotcom to split the $50k into two checks and prompting him to make them anonymous (according to Dotcom's evidence, his wife's evidence and his body guard's evidence).

New evidence introduced since the District Court proceedings suggests advisers decided which donations were anonymous.

This is a complete waste of everyone's time and more importantly money, this whole thing is just pathetic, all I can do is hark back to the Clarke days and compare it to this, she got away with lies and murder and it enhanced her career, this bloke looks as though castration looms.