John Banks

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 »

Sledge of the Day – John Banks

I'm coming to steal your democracy

Get used to orange

John Banks has responded to the challenge of Kim Dotcom for a public debate:

Banks on Thursday said he would agree to a debate if it was held at the Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles, in the United States.

“I’ll pay the airfares,” he said.   Read more »

Not the sort of support you’d really want

Len Brown has stated he supports John Banks…and understands what he went through.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has come out in support of his former political rival John Banks, saying he understands what he’s been through.

Former ACT MP and Auckland Mayor John Banks’ three-year court battle over allegations of knowingly filing a false electoral return ended on Tuesday with an aquittal ordered by the Court of Appeal.

Banks has likened the case against him to a “jihad”.

Brown, who found himself at the centre of a media maelstrom in 2013 when it emerged he had an extramarital affair, would not be drawn on suggestions Banks could again stand for the Auckland mayoralty.

But he expressed sympathy with what Banks had endured.    Read more »

Banks saga continues: Attorney-General to review what happened

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson is “taking a close look” into the prosecution of John Banks following a ruling which found the Crown misled the court.

Mr Banks was scathing of the conduct of scathing about the conduct of Crown prosecutor Paul Dacre, QC, and Solicitor-General Mike Heron, QC, following a Court of Appeal decision which acquitted him yesterday of filing a false electoral return.

“I was held to account when I was told by the judge, ‘the prisoner can take his place in the dock’. I was held to account…I’m saying the Solicitor-General has a lot to answer for,” Mr Banks said yesterday.

“Withholding evidence from the Court of Appeal is a serious breach of process. Having the evidence in the briefcase but, for whatever reason, not giving it to the court is a very serious error of judgment at the very least. Read more »

Did David “Tainted” Fisher take another bung?

No surprises really who Kim Dotcom ran to, to talk about the John Banks acquittal.

David “Tainted” Fisher taking dictation again from his crooked lying pal in the onesie.

A new version of events has emerged from Kim Dotcom on the John Banks donation saga – and this time, Amanda Banks is nowhere to be seen.

The wife of former Act leader John Banks was heralded as the politician’s saviour today after the Court of Appeal tossed out the case that he had filed a false electoral return.

Yeah whatever, how does fatty German sausage taste when it’s stuck down the back of your throat?   Read more »

Comment of the day

John Boscawen on John Banks’ acquittal in the Court of Appeal:

The real villain is the Crown. The heroes are of course the three courageous Appeal Court judges, lead by the President, who first allowed the appeal in November and ordered a retrial, and who today have recalled their judgement and acquitted John Banks in full. On each occasion the Crown opposed their actions.

Dacre QC, for the Crown, got up in court last November and argued that the new evidence of the American witnesses should not be allowed and that the appeal should be dismissed. Dacre did this knowing that Dotcom now agreed the Americans were at the lunch and that his (Dotcom’s ) original High Court evidence was incorrect. Dacre did not disclose this fact to either Banks’ team or the Appeal Court judges.

This evidence was critical to the original High Court trial in which Judge Wyllie sided with the “Dotcom witnesses’ ” version of events over Mrs. Banks’s version.

Had the appeal court judges not had the courage to allow the appeal in the first place, none of this would have been made public. It was only after the Solicitor General decided to proceed with a new trial was this ( ” the Butler Memorandum” disclosed to the Banks team in February of this year.

John Banks and his family have paid a huge price. It has cost him literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend. He had no alternative to resign as a minister when the case was ordered to trial, and no alternative to resign as an MP when first convicted. He has every reason to feel vindicated today.

Read more »

Face of the day

Amanda Banks

Amanda Banks PHOTO-tvnz.co.nz

Today’s face of the day is Amanda Banks, whose determination against the odds paid off in the end.

An emotional John Banks has paid tribute to his wife Amanda whose “outstanding detective work” led him to being acquitted of filing a false electoral return.

“She is the hero in this piece of drama,” said Mr Banks. “She was described by the judge as an unreliable witness. But she found the witnesses who would deliver the truth.

“The moral of the story is never underestimate the tenacity of a woman whose honesty and integrity is insulted.”

…The case largely hinged on the credibility of who was right about a contentious lunch at the Dotcom mansion. After Mr Banks’ wife Amanda unearthed new witnesses who corroborated her version of events, Dotcom said there were now two lunches….Mr Banks said the prosecution had cost him his job as the MP for Epsom and a Minister for the Crown, hurt him financially and caused stress to his marriage.

…The parliamentary career of the former Act leader ended after he was convicted in the High Court last year 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 detective work of Mrs Banks, 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.

-NZ Herald

Case thrown out, no re-trial, Banks an innocent man after Court of Appeal acquittal

John Banks is an innocent man, acquitted by the Court of Appeal.

The case against John Banks has been thrown out and he will not face a second trial for allegedly filing a false electoral return.

The Court of Appeal has sensationally reversed its previous decision to order a retrial following the late disclosure of a document, which Mr Banks’ lawyer David Jones QC said “contradicts all evidence given at trial” by the Dotcom witnesses and made the prosecution “untenable”.

In a judgment just released by the Court of Appeal, Justices Ellen France, Forrest Miller and John Wild ruled that Mr Banks should not stand trial again and he was acquitted.

The decision of the Court of Appeal comes three weeks after an urgent hearing held in Wellington where Mr Jones told the three appellate judges that Kim Dotcom’s new statement was a “fantasy and a nonsense”. The Queen’s Counsel said the Crown made a “very serious error” by not disclosing the new material, known as the Butler memorandum, ahead of a previous Court of Appeal hearing last October.    Read more »

Police Complaints Authority won’t release results on Banks complaint

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has investigated how the police handled the inquiry into John Banks’ donation returns following the Super City election.

However, the findings of the IPCA will not be released publicly until the court case is finished.

The police received complaints in April 2012 alleging Mr Banks had failed to properly declare details of donations from Kim Dotcom and SkyCity as required and therefore committed a criminal offence.

Police conducted an investigation into the matter and eventually decided not to prosecute Mr Banks.

However, a private prosecution was then launched by Graeme McCready against Mr Banks and he was found guilty of filing a false electoral return in respect of the Dotcom donations.

He was convicted and sentenced to two months’ community detention and 100 hours’ community service. Read more »

Another chance for Kim Dotcom to choke on his sauerkraut

Not only was John Bank’s guilty verdict set aside, his lawyer is now arguing that a 2nd case isn’t needed.

John Banks wants the Court of Appeal to recall its decision ordering a retrial on his charge of falsely declaring donations from Kim Dotcom anonymous.

In the latest in a ongoing legal saga, Banks’ lawyer David Jones QC has lodged an application with the Court of Appeal, asking it to throw out its judgment, Mr Jones’ office has confirmed.

Following a two-week trial in the High Court last year, Banks was found guilty of falsely declaring two $25,000 donations to his 2010 failed Auckland mayoralty bid as anonymous when he knew they were from Mr Dotcom.

The former ACT leader appealed his conviction after detective work by his wife Amanda Banks pulled up new evidence from two American businessmen who disputed that donations were discussed at Mr Dotcom’s mansion. Read more »