This came in via the tipline and provides an interesting take on the judgement against John Banks. The Wylie J judgement reads as a decision of someone trying to justify a predetermined conclusion, but doing so unsuccessfully….
I read “the” judgement, and was left with the sense that Wylie J seemed to work more on a balance of probabilities, than on reaching a verdict “beyond reasonable doubt”. He appears to have ended up using a civil case requirement of standard of proof, where in a criminal case the higher standard should actually have been used.
This also really does seem to be flavoured (aside from Wylie J’s initial assertion that his judgement would not be) with a real sense of a lack of actual innocence until “proven” guilty. I presently believe all that for the following reasons…
Not knowing any more of the facts, than was contained in the .pdf of the judgement, I was surprised that Wylie J accepted the way campaign finances were run, yet, did not draw the necessary conclusions from that, and other facts which he apparently considers established, yet was able to find Mr Banks guilty.
i) No one disputes that it was a Dotcom staffer, or connected person(s), who made the anonymous drop box deposits in Albany. Amazingly that person has remained anonymous to this date(?), because ..Dotcom’s finance officer of the time certainly did not make the deposits in Queenstown as he had thought.
ii) With the deposits for Dotcom not showing any name even on a campaign bank statement
iii)Dotcom’s deposits were made some full nine days after a lunch date there with Mrs Banks, again making it even less clear who the anonymous deposits were from.
iv) Wylie J appears to accept that at no relevant point did Mr Banks have the opportunity to read the campaign’s account bank statements, nor to see the bank account online, receive any related oral information from a campaign finance officer, nor seen the table of donations in the final return.
And so, Wylie J initially to me at least, appears to fail to identify – where did his supposed information come from – that Mr Banks had knowledge that Dotcom or related, had actually made any donation(s) to his campaign at all?
v) On the facts supplied by Wylie J in his judgement – in the trial, the only source “recorded” for Mr Banks to have any possible knowledge of any donation Dotcom actually might have eventually actually made, was inadequately from Dotcom having asked Mr Banks twice, on his behalf – had Mr Banks cleared the cheque(s)? Read more »