John Banks

Banksie fights back

John Banks was the victim of a Dotcom/David ‘tainted’ Fisher hit job. I well remember meeting David Fisher for lunch at Soul Bar to discuss some stories with him. He was totally distracted having just been up to the Town Hall to look at donations returns after being given the heads up from his pal Kim Dotcom. He was very excited.

Later when the verdict was handed down by Justice Wylie in the High Court Fisher was seen to do a little jig celebrating at his big sting. Justice Wylie will have to apologise for that judgment in due course but we are seeing no apologies from David Fisher.

Meanwhile John Banks is fighting back against the legal malfeasance performed against him by crown lawyers.

John Banks has lodged a complaint against the Queen’s Counsel who prosecuted the politician for electoral fraud.

The parliamentary career of the former Act leader ended after he was convicted in the High Court for not disclosing two $25,000 donations from internet mogul Kim Dotcom to his Auckland mayoralty campaign in 2010.

The Court of Appeal then quashed the conviction after the “obsessed” detective work of Mr Banks’ wife, Amanda, who was stung by the trial judge’s opinion of her credibility when he preferred Mona Dotcom’s evidence about a lunch which was crucial to the case.

Mrs Banks tracked down two witnesses from America who corroborated her version of events and whose evidence the three appellate justices said was “likely to have changed the outcome of the trial”, if accepted.

What the three appellate judges – or Mr Banks’ lawyer David Jones QC – were not told was that Dotcom, when presented with the the evidence of the two American businessmen, changed his evidence.

Dotcom and his missus perjured themselves. Why he isn’t on charges I can’t imagine.
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Face of the day

Former ACT leader John Banks has been sworn in as a JP for a second time.

Former ACT leader John Banks has been sworn in as a JP for a second time. JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ

 

Becoming a JP again is vindication for the “judicial jihad” of the electoral fraud allegations he faced, John Banks says.

The former ACT leader and Auckland mayor has been sworn in as a Justice of the Peace for a second time, after resigning his position as a JP while battling the charges in 2014.

“This is the beginning of the end of a long, disappointing, expensive judicial jihad,” he said on Monday.

“Certain matters left outstanding needed to be tidied up and this was one of them.”

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Tracy Watkins proposes Key’s teapot “backdown” is significant, somehow

Tracy Watkins has written an opinion piece that is long on wishful thinking and short on logic.

Anyone who thinks John Key’s backdown over the teapot tapes isn’t a huge deal to him personally clearly can’t have been on the election trail at the time.

Key’s temper is slow to the boil and the teapot tapes bombshell was the first time any of us who followed his political career had seen him truly angry.

There is only one other occasion during which most of us can recall Key really losing his rag like he did over the teapot tapes and that was a whole election campaign later, the day after Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics landed.

Key’s clipped answers to questions on Monday about his legal settlement with cameraman Bradley Ambrose is an indication of just how deep his feelings still run over the teapot tape saga.

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Key and Ambrose settle

So no $1.25m for Ambrose then.

John Key has conceded a camera operator did not deliberately record a conversation he had with John Banks during the 2011 election campaign, which became known as the ‘teapot tape’.

Bradley Ambrose decided to take Mr Key to court over the Prime Minister’s comments, which included comparing Mr Ambrose’s actions to the discredited News of the World newspaper.

The two parties have now reached a settlement, meaning the case will not go to trial. Mr Key says a payment was made, but won’t reveal how much. Mr Ambrose had sued for $1.25 million.

“These comments caused harm to Mr Ambrose personally and professionally,” the joint statement reads.

“The comments reflected Mr Key’s honestly held views at that time. Mr Key and Mr Ambrose have met to discuss the events of that day.

“Mr Key now accepts that Mr Ambrose did not deliberately record the conversation, or otherwise behave improperly.

“Mr Ambrose now accepts that Mr Key believed that the conversation had been deliberately recorded at the time Mr Key made his statements.” Read more »

Larry Williams on Banks and New Zealand justice

Larry Williams has a crack at the system over the John Banks case.

The justice system stinks at times – with what I call trumped up charges against John Banks being a case in point.

Mr Banks was acquitted of electoral fraud after the conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

The case related to donations Mr Banks received from Kim Dotcom for his 2010 mayoral campaign, which the Crown alleged were not disclosed on his electoral return.

The Court of Appeal overturned its earlier decision for a retrial after the Crown’s key witness, Kim Dotcom, was found to have completely contradicted what he said at trial – the defence presented statements by two Americans that destroyed the Crown case. Mr Dotcom’s changed version of events was withheld from the court by the Crown.

I’d bet that there is more to come as a result of the non-disclosure of key evidence.

Yes, there will be more to come.

The evidence against Mr Banks was flimsy. Police investigated for six months and recommended that he had no case to answer.

Then along came serial litigant Graham McCready with a private prosecution and the Solicitor General – foolishly in my opinion – pursued the case. To me, it looked like a boneheaded vindictive crusade to secure Mr Banks’ scalp.

I think it’s beyond belief the Solicitor General proceeded with the case.

The upshot was Mr Banks got totally screwed over. He and his wife were put through hell. His honesty was impugned. Some journalists were baying for blood and were clearly enjoying it. Political opponents labelled him “corrupt” and a “fraudster”. Mr Banks resigned from his ministerial posts. The case took a terrible toll.

Yesterday, Mr Banks had another kick in the guts. He’s been awarded $66,200 in costs from the Crown for the Court of Appeal hearings that resulted in his acquittal. He has further application for costs of $190,000 for the earlier trial.

These are paltry sums compared to his actual costs, I’d say . As a guesstimate I’d say his costs were in the vicinity of a million dollars.

That’s justice New Zealand style, folks.

The fact that the Media party participated in the shenanigans should be to their enduring shame…of course, journalists (and I use the term loosely) like David Fisher have no shame. If he wasn’t already known as ‘Tainted’ Fisher, I’d start calling him ‘No Shame’ Fisher.

Justice Wylie should also apologise…but I suspect he won’t. His colleagues, though, will forever snigger at the Northern Club that he fell for the rubbish of Dotcom and his missus.

 

– NZ Herald

Banksie gets some justice at last

John Banks has got some justice at last, though not nearly enough to cover the expenses of clearing his name against a campaign of spite run by Dotcom, David Fisher and the Solicitor-General’s own office.

Former politician John Banks has been awarded $66,200 in costs from the Crown for the Court of Appeal hearings that resulted in his acquittal for his electoral return for mayoral donations.

Mr Banks said a further application for costs of $190,000 had now been lodged in the High Court for the earlier trial which convicted him of electoral fraud before that conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

The case related to donations Mr Banks received from Kim Dotcom for his 2010 mayoral campaign which were not disclosed on his electoral return and which Mr Banks claimed were anonymous.

The decision by the Court of Appeal to overturn its earlier decision for a retrial meant Mr Banks was acquitted of filing a false return.

Attorney General Chris Finlayson confirmed the Court of Appeal costs had now been resolved.

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Jumping before being pushed?

mike-heron

Richard Harman reports via his email newsletter:

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson QC has announced that  Solicitor-General Michael Heron QC has decided to  to step down from the role after serving three of his five years appointment. Both Mr Finlyason and State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie have praised Mr Heron for his work. But in May  Court of Appeal acquitted former Auckland Mayor and MP John Banks  for allegedly filing a false electoral return relating to the 2010 Auckland mayoralty race.Mr Banks’ acquittal was the result of the Court of Appeal finding that the Crown had withheld evidence form the defence  leading to a miscarriage of justice.Mr Banks said that “Some of the mistakes made by the judiciary going through were outrageous” and “the solicitor-general has a lot to answer for.”

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Don’t do it Banksie

via msn.com

via msn.com

John Banks has refused to say whether he is considering running for the Auckland mayoralty next year, but has not ruled the possibility out.

“That’s a long way off – I’ve got to get to next year, you know,” Mr Banks told TV3’s Paul Henry show this morning. Read more »

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson can see no evil, hear no evil, but happy to cover for evil

The Attorney-General says there was nothing wrong with Crown Law’s conduct throughout the court case against former ACT leader John Banks.

Mr Banks was acquitted in May of charges relating to falsely declaring donations from Kim Dotcom over his failed Auckland mayoralty bid in 2010 and the Court of Appeal ruling he shouldn’t be retried.

Following the ruling, he called for Solicitor-General Mike Heron QC to stand down so an inquiry could be held into the case, which he called a three-year “jihad”.

Chris Finlayson, the minister responsible for the Crown Law Office, said he’d take a “careful look” at Crown Law’s management of the case.

Initially, the private prosecution was taken by Graham McCready, and the decision to go to trial was an independent judicial one, Mr Finlayson says.

“Apart from limited involvement at various stages of the case, Crown Law briefed an independent barrister to conduct the prosecution. It did so for a number of reasons, including the involvement of Mr Dotcom as a witness and the politically controversial nature of the case. Read more »

Has Amanda Banks exposed the dark underbelly of the Crown Law office?

John Banks has done us a favour and shown our justice system to be truly broken. But what chance would he have had if he had been a young man, down and out, up against the system, or even an average person or, indeed, an ordinary MP?

He or she would have had no chance.

As it was, Banks had hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend.

And spend it he had to — to clear his name.

He had a wife who, stung by Justice Edwin Wylie refusing to believe her testimony, hunted down the key witnesses who turned the case around.

The Crown didn’t do that. The fancy lawyers didn’t.

Banks was, of course, a Government Minister, a party leader and a critical vote in Parliament.

It was never an everyday case and we would expect the Crown prosecution to be at its very best and most professional.

The real problem here is that we can’t step beyond the idea of mere incompetence, and instead we are tempted to infer political motives.  And if that’s the case, is it limited to the QCs involved, or were they acting on advice?   Read more »