Amanda Banks gets apology, John Banks gets $0.00

It’s not often that you should feel genuinely outraged these days.  The word is overused.  But in this matter,  outrage is the only reasonable emotion.

John Banks’ $190,000 High Court costs bid following his acquittal of filing a false electoral return has been dismissed.

Last week, the former National cabinet minister and ACT MP’s lawyer, David Jones, QC, said it was difficult to imagine a “more worthy” applicant for court costs than the victim of “fabricated evidence.”

Mr Banks was seeking costs after the Court of Appeal last year acquitted him and ruled he should not be retried.

The Crown opposed the costs application, arguing there was no evidence that suggested what was being said by Kim Dotcom in the case arguing Mr Banks had filed a false electoral return when he was Auckland City mayor was fabricated, and the case “had to go to trial.”

Mr Banks was convicted on that charge but it was overturned by the Court of Appeal after Mr Bank’s wife, Amanda, tracked down two witnesses who had been present at a lunch held by Mr Dotcom and about which he had testified.

Mrs Banks did that after her original evidence was criticised during the High Court case.

Justice Ed Wylie last week publicly apologised to Mrs Banks after earlier questioning her credibility but in a decision today declined Mr Banks’ costs application.

It is very hard to put in words how this makes me feel.   How can you be wrong enough to apologise,  but not wrong enough to make restitution for a fine that was applied because of it? 

The judge also found it could not be asserted the trio’s evidence was fabricated, as there had been no re-trial and they had not been charged with perjury, so far as he was aware.

“It was asserted that Mr and Mrs Dotcom’s evidence, and Mr Tempero’s evidence, was ‘a fabrication.’

“I do not accept that the matter is that simple.

“At best, from Mr Banks’ perspective, it can be said that the evidence that they gave at trial is inconsistent with the affidavits of the two American businessmen, and further that Mr Dotcom’s acceptance of these affidavits throws into significant doubt the evidence which he, Mrs Dotcom and Mr Tempero gave at trial.

“While there was, however, other material that supported their evidence, it became a case where no reasonable fact finder could be sure Mr Banks was guilty.”

Justice Wylie last week asked Mr Jones [QC] if he could address his client, Mr Banks, directly after the hearing.

The judge told Mr Banks he now accepts the findings he made as to Mrs Banks’ credibility were in error and asked for his apologies to be passed on.

Today’s judgment says he records the apology.

“I appreciate that my finding will have upset her and caused her significant embarrassment and distress.

“This distress was, no doubt, compounded by the considerable media coverage given to the trial and to my Reasons for Verdict judgment.

“It is appropriate that I should acknowledge my error and I do so.”

There is no justice in NZ

Where the Crown presents demonstrably false evidence and three witnesses perjure themselves, lying like flat fish and then covers up that evidence denying it even existed when it was in the Crown lawyers briefcase and then deny an innocent man his costs is disgusting.

If Wylie J had even a modicum of integrity he’d resign.

CRI-2016-404-000088-Crown-v-Banks by Cam Slater on Scribd


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