Major errors by dud judge in Banks case

There seems to be a serious dearth of quality judges in our district courts.

The NZ Herald outlines the rather basic errors of Judge Gittos in sending the Banks case to trial.

Jared Savage has made a good fist of the summary:

Mr Banks’ lawyer, David Jones QC, has filed a detailed memorandum which says that Mr Banks had been “vilified” in Parliament and the media as a result of Judge Gittos’ ruling, which he described as “fundamentally misstated and misdirected itself both on the evidence and law”.

He wrote that the “factual findings made, the analysis of the evidence and the resulting process by which the court came to its decision were wrong”.

In particular, Mr Jones said Judge Gittos was wrong to state that two $25,000 cheques from Kim Dotcom were personally given to Mr Banks after he flew to the millionaire’s mansion in a helicopter. 

“The two cheques signed by the witness Mr Dotcom and drawn on Megastuff Ltd were not given to Mr Banks direct at all,” wrote Mr Jones.

“The meeting at which donations were discussed was not the meeting at which Mr Banks arrived in a helicopter but a subsequent meeting some two months later, when he arrived by car.”

Mr Jones also said there were 89 entries in the donations part of the electoral return, not 67 as noted by Judge Gittos, with 45 of those listed as anonymous.

Judge Gittos also said that Mr Banks “glanced” at the electoral return before signing; while Mr Jones said the evidence from the witness was that he “might have glanced” at them but didn’t read them.

“All entries on all pages would have to be read to identify the donation amounts,” said Mr Jones.

He also submitted the “erroneous findings” were integral to the judge’s decision-making process around the “critical element” that Mr Banks knew the return was false.

Mr Jones has asked the High Court to quash the trial committal decision and discharge Mr Banks as there is insufficient evidence.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.