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.

There were now two lunches, he said, and the American businessmen were at one of them.

These comments were contained in the now infamous “Butler memorandum” which the Crown failed to disclose.

In a later judgment, Justice Forrest Miller said the Crown could not both withhold the memorandum and oppose the appeal on the grounds that it did.

“The effect was to mislead the court … we are satisfied that there has been a serious error of process. It is, we accept, attributable to an error of judgment rather than misconduct.”

The appellate judges found they would not have ordered a retrial had they known of the Butler memorandum, so a miscarriage of justice had occurred.

They recalled the earlier judgment and ordered there would be no retrial, which has the effect of an acquittal.

It was an outrageous miscarriage of justice, and it was perpetrated by Crown law and the Solicitor-General.

Since then, the Crown conceded Paul Dacre QC, an independent barrister who prosecuted the case, should have disclosed the Butler memorandum ahead of the appeal hearing.

The Crown therefore agreed to pay Mr Banks’ legal bill, $66,200, incurred from that point on.

“Mr Dacre decided that the memorandum from Mr Butler was not disclosable in relation to the appeal but would be in the event a new trial was ordered. This was an error of judgment,” John Billington, QC, wrote on behalf of the Crown in documents lodged in the Court of Appeal.

The documents show Mr Banks, who is seeking another $190,000 in legal costs from the trial, also signaled his intent to lay a complaint against Mr Dacre with the New Zealand Law Society.

“Something which has really bothered me is the thought that the Butler memorandum may never have been disclosed at all if the original appeal had not been successful,” Mr Banks wrote in an affidavit filed with the Court of Appeal.

Mr Banks confirmed to the Herald he laid a complaint with the Law Society, although Mr Dacre said he had no “knowledge of the complaint and therefore no comment”.

What a shameful instance. A person of less means than John Banks may well have not been able to fight this. A serious piece of legal malfeasance has occured. Good on Banksie for fighting.

I can’t wait for Wylie J to apologise. I just wonder if David Fisher will ever get the courage to do so as well.

 

-NZ Herald

 


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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.

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