Banks retrial complete waste of money

John Banks is to face re-trial with the Solicitor-General recommending proceeding to trial.

Former Act Party leader John Banks will face a retrial for filing a false electoral return, Solicitor-General Mike Heron, QC, has confirmed.

Mr Banks was convicted in the High Court last year after not disclosing donations from internet mogul Kim Dotcom to his Auckland mayoralty campaign in 2010.

Last November the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial.

But the decision had to be confirmed by the Solicitor-General. Last night, a Crown Law spokeswoman said Mr Heron had made that decision.

No date has been set. The issue will go to the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday.

Neither Mr Banks or his lawyer, David Jones, QC, could be reached for comment last night.  

Mr Banks appealed against his conviction, introducing affidavits from two US-based businessmen who he said were at the same lunch at which Mr Dotcom claimed donations were discussed.

The men, David Schaeffer and Jeffery Karnes, said donations were not discussed at that lunch.

The Court of Appeal said it was satisfied that if the evidence had been before [High Court judge] Justice Wylie the outcome might have been different, and it was in the interests of justice to admit it.

The Solicitor-General must be blessed with a special kind of stupidity.

It is now apparent that the Crown’s star witnesses of Kim Dotcom and his estranged wife Mona in fact perjured themselves on the stand.

Quite how they are going to stack this up now that the Dotcom’s evidence is contradicted by two independent people who aren’t facing extradition proceedings or felony charges like racketeering and money laundering in the United States is beyond me.

If I was John Banks I’d be immediately seeking new discovery motions on the evidence that the Crown has…because I suspect it is none.


– NZ Herald



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  • Sailor Sam

    It is just another way of stopping Kim Dotcom from debunking to another country to avoid extradition to the USA.
    I agree

  • Carl

    More money on the way for the Germans lawyers, they are the ones who don’t want him to leave.

  • John1234

    No option for SG – if he didn’t go ahead we’d never hear the end of whining from the useful idiots.

    This way the case can be thrown out in the due course of law and there will be no opportunity for the UI’s to whine about political interference for years on end.

    • Astuteas

      The case has already been thrown out and overturned in the Court of Appeal who stated that the conviction could not be relied upon.
      So now what… we are going to waste even more of the taxpayers $$$, not to mention even more of John Bank’s $$$ in lawyers fees and Court costs to achieve absolutely nothing.
      Why is no one pursuing a purgery investigation and subsequent criminal prosecution against Dot Com and Mona for their previous testimony given under oath that has now been clearly proven (and already accepted by the Court of Appeal) to be false and inaccurate.
      Given their now severe credibility issues, there is absolutely no point pursuing this prosecution against Banks any further as there principal witnesses are both more than compromised.
      Their case is now unwinnable and a complete waste of every ones money.
      Clearly now not in the public interest to pursue the prosecution any further.
      Look forward to Banks seeking full cost recovery as a consequence.

      • John1234

        It was thrown out because possibly vital missing evidence was later discovered – the American businessmen. But that evidence has not been tested in court.
        For the same reason, another trial is needed to show if DotCom and Mona lied.
        The American businessmen’s evidence counts for nothing if it is not heard and contested in a court of law.

        • Astuteas

          The two American businessmen’s sworn affidavits have already been adduced and admitted as evidence at the Court of Appeal and was both admitted into evidence and fully accepted by the learned Judges. The Crown lawyers had every opportunity to legally challenge the veracity and truth of those affidavits and disprove them… which they didn’t. It is now already documentary evidence that has already been accepted by and tested in the Court of Appeal and the Judges ruled that it now casts grievous and serious doubt on the veracity of the original testimonies of both Dot Com & Mona in the previous High Court hearing.

  • peterwn

    There is method in the madness. It is an ideal opportunity to skewer Kim Dotcom, and worth the effort on this ground alone. He may be given alternative interim accommodation in NZ pending his inevitable departure.

  • john Doe

    If Banks lawyers drag this out long enough, the big German crim should be well ensconced in Wentworth. It would be fantastic to see him here in an orange onsie carrying his ball and chain to give evidence.

  • zotaccore

    How many visits to the KDC mansion has Heron made? And, I wonder what political persuasion Heron is, in any case?

  • Justsayn

    Waste of money? Yes, but the entire saga has been.

    Unfair on Banks? Yes, and no. Not doubt stressful. But if he has any future political ambitions (aka Auckland Mayor) he might benefit from a speedy trial and acquittal rather than a lingering uncertainty.

  • Iera

    If the case is wrapped up at this stage, would anybody be obliged to charge Dotcom with perjury, which could overlap his extradition hearing? Rather than do that, set the Banks case to later in the year when hopefully Dotcom is gone and the Banks case then falls over?

    • NotGandalf

      Perjury, on top of his other indiscretions, should provide more than enough momentum to extract KDC to the US.

  • mike

    Retrial is good because now banks can prove he’s innocent

    • Cadwallader

      You cannot prove innocence…ask David Bain and his gang.

      • HR

        But you can carp on and on about it, ad nauseam

      • mike

        That’s because Bain is guilty.

  • Bobb

    Am I the only one who thinks Bank’s is being victimized here?

    • NotGandalf

      Banks is the one actually fighting back, which is why the original decision was overturned. He certainly was victimized to begin with, but because his wife was determined not to be made public fool of she tracked down the two US businessmen (which I assume KDC never though she would do) to get them to register their own version of events, which was enough to cast greivous doubt on the original testimonies. If there is going to be a victim in this case, it will be KDC, the victim of his own manipulations.

      • Bobb

        I am not sure about that. The SG must think there is a case to answer which means he could be found guilty again. There was all sorts of noise on this blog when he was found guilty about how this would open a can of worms for all kinds of politicians with talk of prosecutions both private and public being launched. nothing has happened….as usual.

        • NotGandalf

          Have to disagree with you Bobb, Banks has initiated the retrial through is lawyers which he would not have done if he wasn’t completely sure of total vindication. The SG hasn’t ordered the retrial yet, but I am confident, and actually looking forward to the order any day now. I am not sure of whether this means the original decision was quashed or just overturned, is there a difference?

          • Bobb

            From the article above it seems that the SG has confirmed the retrial. It doesn’t say that Banks initiated it. I could be wrong but if I was Banks I would be hoping that it was behind me without the stress and expense of another trial.

          • NotGandalf

            With respect to you Bobb – That is because the article omits important facts – in reality it is shoddy reporting because it only gives a snapshot of the current state of the case without spending just a few more words on context, I am not saying they need to regurgitate everything that has happened by the article is vague in its origins, so that readers simply assume based on the face value of the article that Banks has a further case to answer to with the implication being that he has not been fully brought to account. Banks (I assume via his lawyers) actually submitted the new evidence which would have significantly challenged the court at the time, resulting in the original decision being overturned, all the SG had to do is approve the retrial process to get the wheels turning again.

  • Second time around

    I wonder if Dotcom will be able to produce a tape recording of that meeting to prove he and Mona weren’t lying. He seemed to have no trouble coming up with the secret emails of the Hollywood executives, good enough to convince even David Cunliffe, in his “moment of truth” before the election last year.

    • Bombastic

      He’s probably recording it right now. He does have *ahem* form.

  • Odd Ball

    Given that the prosecutions star witnesses, which the judge considered to be credible, have now been contradicted by 2 independent witnesses, what exactly do they hope to prove?
    Given the above statement, I can only assume this folly is happening in order to keep Banks out of politics at a local or national level.

  • BW_Lord

    I wonder, if Banksy got acquitted, and successfully sued for damages, whether he’d be able to eke any money out the big guy up front, or have to wait in line like the rest of humanity.

  • Nebman

    Dying to see Dotcom’s credibility challenged on the stand even if it is just for entertainment value. Que his “Moment of Truth” disaster as evidence for the defense.

  • chrisgale

    But this gets Dotcom back under cross examination and the issue of a criminal conspiracy to discredit the “VRWC” can be tested. Popcorn time. And the prosecution will insist on this… because utu.

  • damm good thrashing

    Of course Banks should be retried…if only for stupidity.

  • Dexq

    Banks credibility is every bit as shot as Dotcoms after this saga. I wouldn’t trust him to run a dairy, let alone a city.