BREAKING: Judge apologises to Amanda Banks for getting it all wrong [UPDATED]


John and Amanda Banks are in court today and have just heard Judge Wylie apologise for having been taken in by the Dotcom show. Had he known then what he knows now, he said, we wouldn’t have been in this mess in the first place.

There is no live reporting from the court, but Whaleoil expects to have more detail for you later.

Updated 13:26

John and Amanda Banks have returned to court today to make a submission.  Their counsel, David Jones, presented a painful summary of facts outlining a raft of errors and assumptions that ultimately led to John Banks being found guilty of something he never did.

“Mr banks comes to this court after suffering a grave injustice in this court,” Mr Jones submitted. “He is seeking recompense for being the victim of fabricated evidence. Victims of such fabricated evidence deserve recompense.”

“The Crown, when faced with false evidence still refuse to accept it, and are displaying concrete thinking when it comes to false evidence. [The] Crown has shown a blinkered approach to this case,” Mr Jones added.

It has cost John Banks his career and his marriage, but the dogged determination of Mrs Amanda Banks tracked down the witnesses who were at the meeting at the time. A second court case was held at which John Banks was acquitted.

Today, it is time for the Crown to face its responsibilities for misguiding the judge, who said after the first case that he found Kim and Mona Dotcom’s testimony to be much more believable than that of John and Amanda Banks.


Whaleoil expects the court to award costs to the Banks, but it is not yet clear if there will be an amount awarded in excess of court cost. Any costs awarded are, of course, far outweighed by the true costs faced by the Banks in trying to defend and ultimately clear their names.

Update 13:37

Whaleoil suspects that perjury charges against Kim Dotcom will be held pending the outcome of the extradition proceedings later this year. If for some reason Dotcom manages to have his extradition quashed, he’ll likely go back to court for perjury as well as face being expelled for lying on his immigration application.

Charging Kim Dotcom with perjury or other offences now would give his legal team the excuse to claim Mr Dotcom can not be deported while facing further legal action as it would be against natural justice for him not to face his accusers personally.

In the end, Kim Dotcom has fouled his nest and is no longer welcome here.  Whaleoil had the measure of the man early on, but it has taken the courts and others a long time to have the scales fall from their eyes. Anyone who supported a convicted hacker and fraudster over people like John and Amanda Banks was simply blinded by their own politics.



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  • Sticktotheknitting

    Great news. About time.

  • Nige.

    I hope thats just the start of the apologies.

    Who else can have the guts to look back at themselves and the way they treated the banks’

  • Dave

    YAY and about time, well done to the Judge, I hope finally the Banks can reconcile, and resume their previous successful careers and status.

    Now the real question Judge, what are you going to do about DotComs Lies and misleading of the court??

    • MaryLou

      Exactly. The man is toxic, and the Banks’ are unlikely to be the first or last victims of Dotcoms penchant for “crushing” anyone who gets in his way.

  • Mrs_R

    ‘Had he known then what he knows now …’
    That’s a cop out. Judge Wylie knew then Dotcoms character and checkered criminal history yet chose to take Dotcom and his wife’s word over Amanda Banks who has never been anything other than a law abiding citizen. Judge Wylie has proven he is not fit to sit in a position of judgement over others and should stand down.

    • roxo

      John Banks lost his career over this Judges judgement call. He was wrong and I think the Judge needs to pay a price for his inadequate decision. He should be forced to stand down if he doesn’t do what Banks did – and resign voluntarily.

  • Isherman

    And he deserves every last penny of the $190K he is seeking for the cost of the first trial too, lets hope it’s awarded.
    Now, time to move on and deal with KDC.

    • The Crown rather disgustingly sought to relitigate the case today and claimed that there should be no costs awarded. They would have spent every bit of another $190k defending their position.

      • Keyser Soze

        Various career saving efforts curtesy of the taxpayer.

  • KGB

    Can a Judge request a warrant for perjury charges? If so, 2 warrants would be an appropriate start now he knows what a gullible fool he was.
    And just in case lying little Ms Dotcom (non citizen) is left behind, it’s a simple way to ensure her deportation.

    • Seriously?

      Maybe. As I understand it there are two way perjury might be auctioned. It is a criminal offense (section 108 defines perjury and it worth a read, and 109 of the Crimes Act). That is probably not something the Judge can initiate other than by making a complaint to the police. It is a police matter.

      But I also think it may qualify as a contempt of Court, which might be in the Judge’s realm to further. I could be wrong about that though.

      Either way, I would not expect the Judge to do so even if he could, he will I’m sure leave it to the police.

      I kinda hope that there are no charges laid. As much as it would be good to see justice done (if the evidence was knowingly false / deliberately misleading) – a prosecution and any appeals may mean we are stuck with Dotcom as a resident for longer.

      Here is a link to the s108 in the Crimes Act, press the “next section” button to move it onto s109:

      • KGB

        Thanks for that. You’re right about him.
        But, but, but, what about Mona? My fear is when they load his butt into cargo, she will squat here. Unless she’s charged with perjury it could be argued she’s done nothing wrong. She has plenty of money, her twins were born here (I think), and she is a ‘victim’ of KDC abuse.
        She doesn’t deserve NZ.

        • Mick Ie

          As the twins were born here only a few years ago, it doesn’t automatically give them right to residency. Mummy broke the law and knowingly committed perjury, so if she gets deported, they will have to go too.

  • cows4me

    I think the judge is/was bias, a judge surely should at least try to be neutral, this one didn’t seem to be. No apology a DCM would be a better outcome.

  • SFB

    Another nail in the coffin for the fat one. Why is it taking so long to put him on a plane out of here?

  • R&BAvenger

    Awesome outcome for the Banks’s, they deserve compensation.

    Awesome journalism by WOBH, even though you are not ‘trained and skilled’ as those ‘real’ MSM journalists/churnalists/repeaters/fairy story tellers/pimping the poor/blaming John Key for everything-ers. ;-)

  • Plantagenet

    Amanda Banks impresses me as a resolute, tenacious and honest person. The Judge should be thoroughly ashamed of himself, apology or no apology, as should all former promoters of Dotcom.

  • Minnie Mouse

    The Judge was obviously smitten with the coy, young Mona dressed like a Nun especially for her Court appearance. And why I say that is because Mona usually dressed like a slapper any other time.

    • Kevin

      According to Woman’s Day she’s an ex stripper I mean model.

      • Slightly flawed.

        I think you’ll find she was an “exotic dancer”

      • Minnie Mouse

        And a lot more than that, I’ll wager.

  • Vutekno

    I thought that in New Zealand judges were selected by demonstrating a number of attributes to a high degree and well above the average person.

    Attributes like, intelligence, broad life experience, knowledge of the law, being a sound judge of people, unbiased consideration of the evidence etc.

    Perhaps I was mistaken, so I wonder how they are selected?

    • Positan

      What’s with the “perhaps?’

  • Lux

    Everytime I read ..the judge, who said after the first case that he found Kim and Mona Dotcom’s testimony to be much more believable than those of John and Amanda Banks.

    I cannot believe a Judge of all people to be taken in by the crook??

    It’s completely shocking and the judge should be ashamed he ever uttered those words.

    Congratulations John and Amanda ..

    • Keeping Stock

      Dotcom is a very convincing liar Lux. He is also a very dangerous man, and the sooner he is sent packing, the better.

      And he can take his signed copy of Mein Kampff with him!

  • Kevin

    “In the end, Kim Dotcom has fouled his nest and is no longer welcome here. Whaleoil had the measure of the man early on, but it is taken the courts and others a long time to have the scales fall from their eyes. Anyone who supported a convicted hacker and fraudster over people like John and Amanda Banks were simply blinded by their own politics.”

    Any politician, who, as reported exclusively by WO (other media were too busy sucking up to KDC to care), visited the Dotcom Mansion hoping to score favours from Kim Dotcom, will never ever get my vote.

  • Huia

    I am very pleased to see John and Amanda Banks exonerated, they certainly did not deserve what happened to them.
    It is okay for the Judicial system to apologise now, but, how came a learned Judge was taken in by two serial criminals when the greater NZ could see what was happening. I would like to see the Judge who treated the Banks like second class citizens when he should have been impartial. His judgment is off and he kowtowed to the Dot Crims so he should be held to account for his biased behavior in a Court of Law.
    The Dot crims need to go from NZ, they are not nz citizens, neither are their unfortunate kids.
    They have cost us, the taxpayers dearly and will continue to tie up court time and add to the expenses in anyway they can.

    • Builder

      I think they may have also cost Auckland a fine Mayor. If the judge hadn’t convicted John, he would be in a good position to win.

      • Dave

        And that right there, is the entire reason this played out in court, and why they were convicted, a thoroughly “Dirty Practices in Politics and Legal Circles” (opinion only)

  • Slightly flawed.

    “Anyone who supported a convicted hacker and fraudster over people like John and Amanda Banks were simply blinded by their own politics.”

    That is a long list, including opposition MP’s and I would imagine 90% of the NZ Media. Shame on you all.

    • Aucky

      In the case of the Media Party ‘dancing with glee on Mr Banks’ grave’ might be a better description.

      • Tracy

        Maybe Amanda Banks could give them lessons on how to actually investigate since she is the one who did so to find the Americans.

  • bilgewater

    The crown prosecutor and solicitor general, as well as Wylie, should face some sort of penalty for this, if not for the Banks, but for the credibility of the legal system.

    • geoff

      Yeah, but according to the Court of Appeal judges it was just an oversight!

      • Ruahine

        Which is all very convenient for Judge Wyllie.

      • bilgewater

        The justice system is the core of our society. An apology is just not good enough. Time after time we see these wombles making their own rules and interpretations instead of following the law. Who the hell can you trust?

  • Dave

    If my memory serves me correctly, there were a few in the media who went after Banks as well, calling them all sorts of things, and further embarrassing them, one was a well known DotCom shill, and should also be held to account. I suggest a very public apology.

    • Aucky

      And more than a few in Her Majesty’s Opposition. Inside the safety of the House of course.

    • David “Tainted” Fisher wasn’t in court today…never showed up, gutless little twerp that he is.

      • Dave

        No doubt we can expect his keyboard to produce a different report and explain how DotCrim did nothing wrong and was misunderstood. I hope Kim is able to take the tainted one with him as his personal media advisor!

  • Peter

    Banksie should go for more than 190K. The poor judgement not only cost Banks his parlimentary career but possibly a position of Mayor of Auckland. What dollar value can you put on that? I also think the Judge should pay, not us taxpayers.

  • Raibert

    Judge Wylie should resign if he has any integrity. How can the public have faith in anyone who gets it so wrong.

    • Keeping Stock

      I disagree completely Raibert. I cannot think of another case where a judge has admitted so publicly and with such humility that he made a mistake. To have offered Mrs Banks such a gracious apology is the mark of the man.

      No judge is infallible; they are human, after all. But Justice Edwin Wylie has done the honourable thing today, publicly admitting that he was wrong. It also shows what an convincing and conniving liar Herr Schmitz is. The sooner he is loaded on to Con Air and flown back to the USA, the better.

      • Davo42

        I’m with Keeping Stock on this one – Wylie can only make a judgement based on the information presented to him at trial. Banks acquittal was due to better work and evidience for the 2nd trial.

      • Raibert

        Agree KDC should be gone already. However why should a judge supposedly able to see through the fabrications of witnesses be able to destroy a person socially and politically and suffer no consequences. Or do you believe an apology is sufficient for the damage done to John Banks? I see no consequences for the Dot Coms, their supporters and the Crown representatives who enabled this.

        • Andy

          If I lied in court and was found out I would expect to receive the harsh end of the law. If I conducted a deceitful campaign making a great attempt to thwart the courts, I should receive a jail term. That is only fair. I can’t understand what keeps these people out of jail.

    • I sat in court today and listened to the litany of falsehoods perpetrated by what were called the “Dotcom Witnesses” The words perjury, false, lies were used constantly.

      Wylie was deceived by witnesses prepared to make up evidence and flat out lie to a court. The Crown aided and abetted it as well, they knew it was false.

      I was proud to sit next to John Banks when he received the apology.

      • GoingRight

        He is a good man

      • Dave

        Very proud, admiration for both of you, and Amanda Banks. Such a shame the Banks had to go through any of it though!

  • BJ

    I actually believe Mr Banks lawyers let him down.

    The judge was not presented with any others testimony to back Mrs Banks version – yet everyone was expecting him to make a judgement with no further evidence in Mr Banks favour – it was quite the dilemma. The Americans that could have verified Amanda Banks evidence should have been hunted down immediately – they couldn’t have been that hard to find for anyone motivated enough – and to think it was left to the witness, when others would have had resources to do so quickly,but didn’t, beggars belief. Aahh, but that would have ended the court case before it had gone on for very long or perhaps the defence lawyers just put too much stock in their belief that the upstanding citizen would get the judge onside with no further effort on their part.

    • Actually if you had sat through court like I dod today you wouldn’t say that. It was a fluke that Amanda Banks found the Americans. The crown knew of the existence of them as well from everyone,’ Dotcom’s included, statement to police, made before deciding to prosecute. Dotcom’s insistence the lunch occurred on a Wednesday when it actually occurred on a Saturday despite evidence provided to the court that the Wednesday lunch couldn’t possibly have occurred, was false. His testimony only changed once the Americans were found. There were many other false testimonies in this case.

      Frankly John Banks was fitted up, first by Dotcom, then by leftist agitators, and finally by a Crown prosecution focused on winning at all costs, even by lying.

      • sarahmw

        What an amazing Lady she is. Am so pleased she has had the apology but at what price. I can’t imagine the pain,hurt and anger she has felt. I hope the Banks find they belong together again. A disgusting display by the judiciary who should know better but totally lost it.

      • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

        I know John and Amanda Banks are good people which I have witnessed first hand and I understand your longtime family connection and I sensed it was you updating the post,The problem I have is the image of you and Michelle B sharing the same seats as she is also a supporter.

      • Minnie Mouse

        ‘Trust me, I’m a Lawyer’. About as trustworthy as a Real Estate Agent, a used car Salesman, etc etc.

  • XCIA

    Well, with Mona dressed up like a latter day pilgrim, looking beautiful and innocent I guess the old adage comes into play. There is no fool like an old fool, even a judicial one. Mind you, I still am of the opinion that Wylie J was being influenced.

  • GoingRight

    I hope that the Banks’s receive a largely in compensation but I fear they may not. Nothing though could turn the clock back when they were still together and living in the same city. John Bank’s reputation has been restored though and KDC and his floozy ex wife who no doubt was told what to say in court, and no doubt neither will be punished for their dishonest actions, more the pity. I do hope when KDC is sent overseas that his whole family is sent packing also. John and Amanda I trust you can both now move forward again, hopefully together and live your lives in happiness and fulfilment. All the very best.

    • waldopepper

      it seems staggering to me that someone can lie under oath and not be punished for it. what if this had led to jail time for banks, which i gather was on the cards at some point. an innocent man could have gone to jail because of lies. surely there must be some punishment. if not, then whats the point of the courts ? seems the only people required to take responsibility for their actions in this country are white men born here. anyone else can do as they please.

  • no bullswool

    What a shabby saga this has turned out to be. A very sad reflection on our criminal justice system when it can be so easily exploited in an attempt to subvert our democratic process. Kim Dot Com was enabled by a bunch of despicable left wing media and a wilfully blind judge hell bent on tearing down the reputation of a long serving public figure and his wife. John and Amanda Banks good on you for sticking to your guns and seeing this nightmare through, this speaks volumes on your integrity. You can hold your heads up high. Thank you for fighting a good fight and thank you for all the years you have given in public service.

  • andrewo

    Wylie chose to take the word of Kim Dotcom (crook facing extradition) and his wife over that of John Banks (Ex Minister of the Crown, Councillor and twice Mayor) and his wife.

    His bias was so complete he found the evidence sufficiently compelling (beyond reasonable doubt) to convict John Banks.

    Either Wylie was incompetent beyond belief or he was part of a wider political assassination.

    Your choice….

  • Cadae

    I hope they don’t charge him because the sooner NZ can engineer a Dexit, the better.

  • localnews

    Luckily in this case mr Banks had the resources to be able to show that perjury had been committed by three people. It makes you wonder how often people are getting away with lying to the courts. What is the punishment for purjury and have many people been punished for it in the last ten years?
    It would also seem to undermine the courts if these people are not to be charged.
    Swearing on the bible with the threat of eternal damnation no longer seems to be a deterrent.