Mitchell to give evidence in Banks Case

Mark Mitchell at Orewa

Mark Mitchell at Orewa

It appears that Rodney MP Mark Mitchell will be giving evidence for the defence in the John Banks case.

Something a sitting MP would normally avoid at all costs as they prefer to put as much distance between themselves and one of their own in trouble so no muck gets on them.

My guess is he has heard or knows something he feels needs be put in front of the judge.

I know for a fact that some of the people ripped off, intimidated and threatened by Kim Dotcom went to Mitchell for help.

I guess Dotcom might be wondering if poking Mitchell in the chest and threatening the PM was the right thing to do.

After all this is a guy who went toe to toe with Joseph Kony, Muqtada al Sadr and Viktor Bout and won each time, I doubt he is concerned by what anyone has to say or do here in peaceful New Zealand.

The closest Mitchell and his men came to being killed was in 2004, during a five-day siege of the An Nasiriyah compound, home to diplomats, officials, coalition forces and security staff.

The uprising Shi’a militia, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, was putting coalition forces under pressure across the country. The Italian-controlled compound was surrounded and under sustained attack. Mitchell was charged with defending it.

“They’d hit us during the day with mortar fire, and at night mount a physical attack. My team’s responsibility was the roof. We were very exposed. It was hot, dusty. We didn’t get much sleep and we had to ration our food. I saw every human emotion over those days.”

Armed with AK47s and two 50-calibre machine guns, they kept the militia at bay until coalition forces regained control. Their efforts would later be rewarded with a commendation from the Italian government.

The compound was evacuated and within 48 hours, Mitchell was having a barbecue and talking to his neighbours in Taupo. “That was surreal. I couldn’t really talk to people about it, as it was hard to comprehend.”

Did he kill anyone? “We were fighting for our lives, and the lives of the diplomats. There were casualties on both sides.” That’s all he’ll say on the matter.

Meanwhile the Banks lurches on, with the crown evidence falling apart.

Kim Dotcom, Mona Dotcom and Wayne Tempero all agree on differing parts of each others statements, but contradict each other in material ways in other areas. Tempero has refused to answer some questions. Then there is the evidence of Grant McKavanagh who has now tolds the court that his previous statements, that were breathlessly reported by media, that he flew to Queenstown to deposit the cheques was in fact a lie, and that he actually deposited them in Albany.

It is has become a joke and you really wonder why Crown Law decided to take this on.

Whatever Mark Mitchell has to say is likely to further diminish the crown claims in this case.


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