Dotcom offered me $200,000 — Banks

Kim and Mona Dotcom

KeallHauled

Chris Keall

As the High Court at Auckland heard audio of a police interview with John Banks today, my main thought was, "Please make it stop."

I could not be in court, alas, but followed the action through tweets by NewstalkZB's Frances Cook.

Things went from farce to high farce:

Asked why he attended a party at the Dotcom mansion, Mr Banks said anyone would go if invited.

At the more serious end of things, Mr Banks alleged that Kim Dotcom offered him a $200,000 donation.

He said he refused because he though it was an "outrageous" amount of money.

Mr Banks said Dotcom offered him "great access to social media."

He told police he did use the internet and did not understand this was a reference to social media — meaning, presumably, that the official John Banks Twitter account that has operated for the past four and a half years has been controlled by a third-party. 

Mr Banks says he then suggested Mr Dotcom donate $25,000 (the standard amount he was asking from big donors). He did not recall if the accused pirate said yes and had "no actual knowledge" of any donation from Mr Dotcom (who in the event sent the campaign two $25,000 cheques; Mr Dotcom maintains Mr Banks asked him to split a $50,000 cheque).

Mr Banks also reiterated that he was not aware a $15,000 cheque, recorded as anonymous, came from Sky City.

The Auckland Mayoral candidate turned ACT leader says he spoke to Mr Dotcom on three more occasions but did not attend another party at Dotcom mansion. He decided it was not his scene.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz

MORE: John Banks trial: why split the $50K cheque? Two unflattering theories 

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