It’s looking pretty shredded. Increasingly, it seems that John Banks has “got nothing to hide” – behind.
The key question all along has turned on what John Banks knew when he signed his declaration recording donations from Kim DotCom and Sky City as anonymous. Banks’ lawyer, David Jones QC, argued that as Banks relied on the advice of his campaign treasurer that the return was correct and that he did not personally sight it, that evidence “was fatal to the prosecution and that the matter should go no further.” In his decision to commit Banks to trial, Judge Gittos stated:
The issue in contention is what was in Mr Banks’ mind at the time the return was signed… Mr Banks is the only person able to give direct evidence as to this issue. He has not done so. I draw no inference from that state of affairs.
Paul Holmes did put the question directly to Banks on Q+A last year. He didn’t get a straight answer as Banks evaded and deflected, and indeed used the cabbage boat defence to avoid giving an answer. Banks didn’t appear to convince Paul Holmes; certainly when he said that he couldn’t remember a helicopter ride. I don’t think the same tactics will work if Banks is called to answer those questions at his trial in court. He certainly didn’t convince any of the Q+A panel a year ago.
I think Banks did come down the river on a cabbage boat. Now he is well and truly up a creek, and without a paddle. For the next year or so, he and ACT are also going to be a huge sea anchor weighing on the increasingly discredited National-led government.