Dotcom 2 Banks 0

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, June 6th, 2014 - 88 comments
Categories: act, john banks, national, same old national - Tags:

Justice Wyllie’s decision has been released and if you have ever worried about the independence of our Judiciary this decision should remover all concerns.  He has drafted a simple yet comprehensive review of the evidence and his conclusion is IMHO logically faultless and damning of John Banks.

Essentially Justice Wyllie believed Kim Dotcom, his former wife Mona Dotcom and his former Security Guard Wayne Temporo in their description of how Dotcom promised a donation of $50,000 to Banks’ campaign and then at Banks’s suggestion split the donation into two cheques of $25,000 each and Wylie clearly did not believe John Banks.  He also decided that Banks’ hiding of the source of the donations from his treasurer meant that he knew the return would be false in a material particular or that he refused to check it because he knew that if he did he would notice the return was not correct.

Wyllie obviously preferred Dotcom’s and his supporters’ evidence about the circumstances of the donation.

[121] Having considered the evidence in its totality, I am satisfied that Mr Dotcom’s recollection of the discussion that he had with Mr Banks at the lunch was, in all essential respects, true and I accept it. Mr Dotcom’s recollection was supported by Mrs Dotcom and by Mr Tempero and I accept their evidence as well. The evidence of Mr Dotcom, Mrs Dotcom and Mr Tempero is broadly consistent with MrBanks’ police interview. It is also supported by the limited contemporaneous documentation. Both cheques were drawn on the Megastuff Limited’s account. They were consecutive cheques. There was no good reason why Mr Dotcom would have drawn two consecutive cheques, both for $25,000, rather than one cheque for $50,000, unless he was asked to do so. Mr Banks, in his police interview, said that he thought $25,000 “about right” to ask, and that if Mr Dotcom wanted to give him more, he could “with other entities”. This was not, however, what happened. Both cheques were drawn on the same company – Megastuff Limited. In my view, it is reasonable to infer that Mr Banks requested that the donation be split into two, so that they did not stand out and so that the donations would be consistent with other donations of $25,000 that his campaign team was endeavouring to solicit.

To back up Dotcom’s evidence was the evidence of his lawyer Greg Towers.  Lawyers are trained to be accurate about things such as records of telephone conversations and Towers obviously has lived up to this training.

[128] Finally, and most importantly, there was evidence from Mr Dotcom’s solicitor, a Mr Gregory Towers. Mr Dotcom was arrested in January 2012. He was placed in Mt Eden Prison. He has a bad back and the prison environment was aggravating the situation. He wanted his own mattress from the Coatesville Mansion. He asked Mr Towers to seek assistance from Mr Banks as the MP for Epsom, in which Mt Eden is situated. Mr Towers gave evidence that on 8 February 2012, he had a half-hour telephone discussion with Mr Banks. Mr Towers said that, prior to that conversation, he had not been aware that Mr Dotcom had provided Mr Banks any electoral support. He said that he rang Mr Banks to ask him, as the MP for Epsom, to try and arrange for the Department of Corrections to provide better bedding for Mr Dotcom. He said that Mr Banks told him that as much as he wished to publically support Mr Dotcom, it might backfire on Mr Dotcom if “it b/comes known about election support etc”. Mr Towers recorded this comment in a contemporaneous file note. He was confident that he had recorded the words that were spoken to him as best as he could. There was no evidence of Mr Dotcom having provided any other “election support” for Mr Banks … I was satisfied that the discussion recorded in the file note could only have been a reference to the $50,000 donation by Mr Dotcom to Mr Banks’ 2010 mayoral campaign. In my view, Mr Towers’ evidence, and the file note, was compelling evidence, from a witness whose testimony was unimpeachable, that Mr Banks knew that the donations had, in fact, been made by Mr Dotcom. It was also consistent with Mr Dotcom’s version of what was said at the lunch on 5 June 2010.

The Judge did not believe Banks’ assertion of a conspiracy against him.

[131] I do not accept Mr Jones’s submissions in this regard:

(a) First, I watched each of the Dotcom witnesses carefully while they gave evidence. I did not notice anything in their demeanour to suggest that they were not telling the truth. I considered that each of the Dotcom witnesses (other than MrMcKavanagh) was straightforward in giving evidence. As I have already noted, with the exception of Mr McKavanagh, I consider that they were reliable and credible witnesses.

Mr Dotcom, in particular, was, in my view, a good witness. He answered questions about his criminal history frankly and openly. He did not obviously seek to “gild the lily” in giving evidence and there was no artifice that I could detect.

I accept that, in some respects, MrDotcom’s evidence was undermined by other evidence given in the course of the hearing. For example, Mr Dotcom was asked whether he had ever said that he would bring down the Government, and destroy Mr Banks. He replied that he had never said this, although he did acknowledge his dislike of the current Government. He said, in effect, that he holds it responsible for what he considers to be illegal spying, and for cooperating with the authorities in the United States in regard to his arrest in this country and the attempts to extradite him. Mr Dotcom’s assertions were directly contradicted by evidence given by Mr Mark Mitchell, the MP for Rodney. I accept Mr Mitchell’s evidence. However, this did not, in my judgment, detract from the balance of Mr Dotcom’s evidence.

By way of further example, I also consider that Mr Dotcom and Mr Tempero (under cross-examination) and Mr McKavanagh (in his evidence-in-chief) erred when they said that the cheques were signed on the same day as the luncheon meeting. In my view, however, this does not support the suggestion that they fabricated their evidence in its totality. It is trite law that witnesses may be mistaken about some details, yet be honest and otherwise reliable witnesses. As I noted above, it was understandable that the witnesses will not have perfect recollection of the detail of events which occurred some four years ago.

(b) Secondly, I record that each of the Dotcom witnesses was subject to fierce cross-examination. With the exception of Mr McKavanagh, none of them buckled under that pressure to any significant extent.

Wayne Temporo was highly respected by the Judge …

Mr Tempero struck me as a particularly strong and independent person, who would not readily accede to a request from Mr Dotcom to become part of a conspiracy.

Mr Tempero ceased employment with Mr Dotcom in 2013. The two are now at loggerheads. The evidence disclosed that Mr Tempero has, until recently, been the subject of a “gagging order” obtained by Mr Dotcom, preventing him discussing employment issues he has with Mr Dotcom.

The Judge’s conclusion was clear.

[134] Having considered all of the relevant evidence that I considered to be reliable, I was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the return of electoral expenses was false in a material particular, because the identity of Megastuff Limited as a donor to the mayoral campaign was not set out in the return of electoral expenses transmitted to the electoral officer, notwithstanding that Mr Banks knew about the two donations, each of $25,000, made by Megastuff Limited on behalf of Mr Dotcom.

The Judge decided that failure to declare the Sky City donation did not constitute an offence.

[146] It is unfortunate that Mr Hutchison did not check the position with Mr Banks. He should have done so. It is even more unfortunate that Mr Banks did not give rather fuller instructions to Mr Campbell and/or to Mr Hutchison. Nevertheless, I cannot exclude the possibility that Mr Hutchison interposed with his own (erroneous) judgement about whether the SkyCity donation should be treated as being anonymous. It follows that I cannot be sure that Mr Banks actually knew that the return was false in this regard at the time it was transmitted. Mr Banks might have thought that Mr Hutchison knew enough to record that the donation came from SkyCity, and he might have abstained from further inquiry when he signed the return, simply because he was careless and not because he knew what the answer was going to be. As noted by the Court of Appeal in Crooks, that is not enough to establish wilful blindness.

But he concluded that Banks had engineered a situation where a false return would be prepared and he then signed it.

[153] I consider that, in relation to the Dotcom donations, Mr Banks engineered the situation. He had the opportunity to check the returns. He refrained from doing so. Rather, he sought to insulate himself from actual knowledge of the falsity of the return by seeking an assurance from Mr Hutchison.

[154]  I am satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, either:

(a)  that Mr Banks had actual knowledge that, at the time he signed it and at the time it was transmitted, the return of electoral expenses was false in a material particular in relation to the Dotcom donations, because he knew that he had not given to Mr Hutchison or anybody else in the campaign team the information that was required if the return was to be accurate, or(b)  that Mr Banks deliberately chose not to check the return to see whether the Dotcom donations were properly disclosed, because he had no real doubt as to what the answer was going to be, and because he wanted to remain in ignorance.

Dotcom has this unnerving ability to collect political scalps.  I wonder who will be next?

88 comments on “Dotcom 2 Banks 0 ”

  1. How about John Key? If he is OK with John Banks staying could that be because most of his anonymous contributions are collected the same way John Banks thought he could get away with?

    One thing is clear; he called an early election because he knew John Banks was going down and he knew he needed the little prick until the end of this parliamentary session and that he could count on him not being able to come back.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Yay for our independent and lifetime career judiciary. One of the elements which has kept this country on track despite the shennanigans and compromised BS at the political level.

    Now, time for Banks to scratch together a semblance of remaining honour and leave Parliament ASAP.

    • @c.v..

      ..will you get a slightly bitter taste in yr mouth..

      ..when he is discharged without conviction..?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Nah I reckon Banks will get done mate, because as far as the judge is concerned, Banks and his witnesses spent the whole time in court lying.

        • phillip ure

          you are talking reasons for conviction..not considerations before sentencing..

          ..’life-long service to the community’..’a tragedy’..’the shame his greatest punishment’..

          ..all will be trotted out to justify his discharge without conviction..

          • s y d

            On 6 October 2009, Field was jailed for six years on corruption charges, with the sentencing judge saying his offending threatened the foundation of democracy and justice….Thanks Justice Hansen

            Then a nice one from JK…..

            “This is a Prime Minister who was prepared to cynically cling to power by continuing to exercise Mr Field’s vote, no matter what. She would have used any excuse to not act against him to maintain her slim one-vote majority.”

          • North

            Not as simple for Banks as you’re suggesting PU.

            See s.107 of the Sentencing Act 2002 below. This “guidance” section creates a threshold which must be achieved before a judge can order discharge without conviction under s.106. Note how the section says “must not…..discharge…….unless…….” –

            ” 107 Guidance for discharge without conviction –

            The court must not discharge an offender without conviction unless the court is satisfied that the direct and indirect consequences of a conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence. ”

            In summary a discharge without conviction cannot flow because a sentencing judge, unguided by principle or law, simply decides to indulge an offender. Furthermore for practical purposes it is accepted by the courts that public humiliation does not ON ITS OWN achieve the disproportionality threshold.

            I note Bill Hodge on TVOne News saying that in his assessment the seriousness of the offending and the consequences of conviction are pretty much evenly balanced. If that is a correct assessment then there cannot be a discharge without conviction. There would need to be imbalance, disproportionality. Evenly matched will not do.

            As to gravity this was not misfeasance as some might say was the case with Doug Graham and Bill Jeffries. Here there was malfeasance undertaken in a premeditated course of conduct touching the integrity of electoral law and thus democracy. Way serious !

            • phillip ure

              “..The court must not discharge an offender without conviction unless the court is satisfied that the direct and indirect consequences of a conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence. ”

              ..and that is exactly the argument that will be made..

              ..if they manage to pull this one off..

              • North

                Of course that’s the argument that will be advanced. It’s the only one that CAN be advanced, quite clearly.

                Advancing is no guarantee of getting however.

                My comments are in response to a floating implication that an application for discharge is a matter of a judge simply “deciding”, on whatever spurious (maybe even cynically unprincipled “Oh, let’s look after the top-end-of-town”) considerations.

                If Old Boy Network irrelevancies were EVER going to come into play they would have been reflected in a not guilty verdict. Based on ‘convenient’ findings as to witness credibility which would remain beyond challenge forever.

                Justice Wylie proceeded impeccably. There is no reason to anticipate a different approach hereafter.

                • “..If Old Boy Network irrelevancies were EVER going to come into play they would have been reflected in a not guilty verdict..”

                  that couldn’t happen..the evidence was too strong..

                  ..the public outcry wd have been too much…

                  ..and as for the outcome..?

                  ..believe me..!..i want to be wrong…

                  ..i wd like to see banks banged up..

                  ..but that ain’t gonna happen..

                  (even tho’ it banks not getting just a green-light to corrupt politicians everywhere in the country….

         every politician contemplating corruption will see that ‘the fall’..if any..isn’t that arduous..and just to be included in risk-factors..

                  ..and certainly no deterrent to that corrupt behaviour….)

                  ..but..i still reckon all the favours will be called in..

                  ..(the thought of banks going feral/postal wd send shivers down many a back..

                  ..banks knows where most of the bodies are buried..

                  ..and cd probably take down half of aucklands’ rich and powerful with him..

                  ..should he choose..)

                  ..banks is now worried about/focusing on his permanent-record….

                  ..and he wants that (salve to him/those priorities) discharge without conviction..

                  ..i guess we will all know on 1st of august..

                  ..if he has managed to swing that..

        • toad

          A discharge without conviction may be appropriate if Banks had, in filling in his electoral expenses return, impulsively decided it was to his and/or Dotcom’s advantage that the donations be recorded as anonymous, and when charged with the offence, promptly pleaded guilty and expressed remorse.

          This is far from what actually happened.

          The evidence shows that right from the time Banks met with Dotcom to seek the donations, he was orchestrating a situation under which he could purport to claim he did not know the source of the donations, and subsequently orchestrated the situation under which his campaign Treasurer would record them as anonymous and Banks would sign off the form without actually reading the donations section.

          Following the verdict, Banks’ media interviews indicate he shows no remorse for the criminality of his actions and still maintains he did nothing wrong. That is not a set of circumstances where a discharge without conviction is appropriate.

          My pick is either home detention or community service. For someone of Banks’ wealth, even the maximum fine of $10K would mean nothing.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.2

        Overhearing “people” discussing what “will happen” is pretty irrelevant, because judges would not say that nor leak it.

        Given the seriousness of the offence, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Banks got a jail term.

        • phillip ure


          ..i just reported what i heard two of the players in this drama say..

          ..that’s it..!

          ..and i saw/heard the faces/tones/emphasises/’reassurances’ of those words..

          ..and the conclusion i have come to..

          ..based on that..and on who those individuals are/were..

 that i will be pissed-off..but not surprised..

          ..if banks gets his discharge without conviction..

          ..that is all i bring to the table..

          ..and as i said in my original piece @ whoar ..

          ..’make of it what you will’..

          ..but i don’t/didn’t get the impression those ‘reassurances’ were false/just blowing hot air..

          • Anne

            Phillip Ure

            Having experienced and been the victim of a cover-up within a government run entity, I am aware of the extent some of our esteemed ‘fathers and mothers’ are willing to go to… in order to protect their own and their mates’ backsides. Therefore I believe your interpretation of what you saw/heard. It’s not only feasible, its becoming almost par for the course these days.

            They may not succeed but it won’t be for want of trying.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.3

        Last night McCready said Team Banksie had no chance of avoiding conviction because the Judge was already mentioning home detention. Similar sentiments from the lawyer on Morning Report this AM.

        • phillip ure

          yes..i noted how wrong macready was with the time..

          ….yes..the judge called for banks to be assessed for suitability to get home-detention..

          ..but mcready seemed to have missed the application from banks’ lawyer for a discharge with no conviction..

          ..which means the actual conviction was ‘stayed’..until that application is determined..

          ..what you say changes my opinion not a whit..

    • bad12 2.2

      Lolz CV, having had much to do with the Judiciary over the decades i hold a contrary view than the one you express,

      Having had cases befor the Court where even a Doctor of Law has been gobsmacked by the actions of the Bench in a ”they cannot legally do this” manner i have good reason not to agree with your point,

      Best tho i don’t get into the detail here…

  3. philj 3

    Bye bye Banksie. Oravida appointment awaits?

  4. bad12 4

    Heh,heh,heh, the 200 hundred bucks i ”invested” on Graham Mac’s phone arrears was well spent monies,

    My only disappointment is that i couldn’t be at the High Court at Auckland to witness Banks claim His second conviction as i was at the District Court in Wellington 1991 when the criminal Banks got His first,

    i will be disappointed if Banks is either discharged from this conviction or receives home detention as the sentence,

    In my view home D should be for those who have admitted their guilt and shown remorse for their offending, Banks has done neither,

    The aggravating factor i believe the Judge should take into consideration when sentencing Banks to the maximum term possible for this offending which He still refuses to admit to is the fact that Banks is a supposed leader of our community and a strong message has to be sent as a deterrent that such behavior in a decent society cannot be tolerated…

    • Tracey 4.1

      unless its home detention in a minimum wage earners home?

      He will probably offer to volunteer for the spca

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2

      All though Banks didnt testify himself at his own trial, once before in a civil case over a Bee pollen company he did spend some time in the witness box. The Herald report said

      ” In a written ruling released yesterday, Justice Geoffrey Venning said he did not accept Mr Banks’ “assertions of dishonesty” against Topline directors Jeff and Ben Cook.
      Outlining Mr Banks’ evidence, and his change of heart regarding the Cooks, Justice Venning said the mayor’s sworn affidavit did not match up with his subsequent testimony in court.

      So the Judge said in that instance that Banks was untruthful under oath.

      So its come to passs again

      • Lanthanide 4.2.1

        Why was he not charged with perjury?

        • Richard Christie

          Why was he not charged with perjury?

          Almost no one ever is when they are on trial, lying is not only tolerated but also surreptitiously expected.
          As Greg Newbold once stated, the adversarial Court process is essentially a “lying competition”.

        • Tracey

          Because by your reasoning everytime there is a court case, someone is less credible or not believed and our courts would be chocker… Have a read up on perjury.

        • Tracey

          This might help

          “For centuries, Anglo-American courts have erected stiff hurdles against perjury prosecutions in part so that witnesses will not fear that a misstatement would expose them to prosecution.

          In a trial system that permits opposing lawyers to grill each other’s witnesses, the chief safeguard against deliberate lies is supposed to be careful questioning — not the threat of a perjury prosecution.

          ” A Narrow Concept

          Prosecutors and defense lawyers agree that perjury is and should be a difficult crime to prove.

          “It is so common for honest witnesses to remember events differently or to get confused or make mistakes that you need a law that only punishes lies that are deliberate and have real consequences,” said Ephraim Margolin, a criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco. “Otherwise, every witness would be exposed to prosecution.”

          Perjury is far narrower than the lay concept of lying. “You have to show what was said was false, that the defendant knew it was false, and that the defendant willfully lied,” said E. Lawrence Barcella Jr., a Washington defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor.

          And to be prosecuted, lies must be important. Under federal law, for false testimony to qualify as perjury, it must have the potential to affect the outcome of the proceeding.

          West Virginia resident Sharon Dunnigan learned the hard way that when perjury is prosecuted, it can be serious business. Three witnesses told a federal jury that Dunnigan ran cocaine from Cleveland to Charleston, W.Va. Three others said they bought cocaine from her. Never happened, Dunnigan testified.

          The jury found her guilty of drug trafficking in the 1989 case. The sentencing guidelines for trafficking would have put her away for about three years. Then, prosecutors persuaded the judge to tack on nearly another year for lying.

          The extra punishment was justified because deliberately lying to a court “reflects on a defendant’s . . . willingness to accept the commands of the law and the authority of the court, and on her character in general,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote when the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the sentencing in 1993.

          Throughout legal history, lies that rose to the level of perjury have been punished harshly. In Elizabethan England, perjurers were pilloried in the stocks, and in Louis XIV’s France, perjury could be punished by beheading.

          Under U.S. law, perjurers get at most five years in prison, but in the Dunnigan case, Kennedy wrote that a defendant who commits perjury is “more threatening to society and less deserving of leniency” than one who tells the truth. The “willingness to frustrate judicial proceedings to avoid criminal liability suggests that the need for incapacitation and retribution is heightened.”

          But such cases are the exception. Blatantly false statements often go unprosecuted. “There’s lying in criminal cases all the time,” said one longtime prosecutor who asked not to be named. “Defendants lie. They bring in alibi witnesses who lie. But we usually will not prosecute them for perjury.””

          more here

  5. Wyndham, George 5

    Nah. I hope he stays in Parliament, remains visibly close to Key and stinks to the High Heaven.
    We should find a place for Pansy Wong, Richard Worth and David Garret in the picture.

    The Nats/Act has given us enough flawed selfish nuts to fill the cast list of many soap operas.

  6. Starnan 6

    John Key knew Banks was guilty. Now we all know why he announced an early election date: he can still have the criminal voting for him supporting his government till parliament rises.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Unbelievable. So the ACT party has no interest whatsoever in the fact that its only MP is in all likelihood going to be drummed out of Parliament …

      • Cancerman 7.1.1

        More heat should go on ACT, Jamie Whyte and David Seymour. This event should be the end of ACT but it seems everyone is attacking John Key and National, which I understand, but the bigger prize is being missed. If ACT, Jamie Whyte and David Seymour are not forced to repeated justify in the media why their party allows someone found guilty to remain, then come election time and other media events people unfortunately won’t have a strong enough distaste/memory and will revote ACT back in. People like Campbell need to harass Jamie Whyte and ACT to give justifications.

        This should be the end of ACT but I feel the opportunity might be missed.

      • Tracey 7.1.2

        They are used to it…


        They see nothing…

    • Not a PS Staffer 7.2

      Jamie, the Great Whyte Hope on the rich and wannaebees right wing chattering classes.

      I heard Richard Prebble on the wireless describe Whyte as being the most educated man in Parliament …when he get there. Richard believes that a Cambroidge PhD tops any education the other 119 MPs might have!

      He preparation and handling of this simple and predictable interview was woeful.
      He lacks anticipation and any sensitivity as to what the listener might be hearing.
      Not a Politician.

    • Lanthanide 7.3

      It was embarrassingly bad. Jamie Whyte really is an idealist and is not cut out for politics, much like Brash.

      I’m disappointed the interviewer really didn’t sledge it home – that the Act party has no opinion / is happy to be represented in parliament by someone who has been found guilty of corrupt practice. A reference to David Garret wouldn’t have gone amiss, either.

  7. ROFL, ………I heard he wants his conviction split into 2 parts aswell!

  8. geoff 9

    Gordon Campbell on banks verdict:

    Outside the court, Banks himself jauntily cited a 1930s song about how into each life some rain must fall – as if this verdict was the product of some entirely external force that had descended on him arbitrarily, as if Banks himself had not been the rainmaker. To that end, there has been a strong media narrative that has chosen to focus on the pathos of Banks’ condition.

    • Anne 9.1

      Another quote from the Campbell link:

      … before we switch off the John Banks soap opera, it’s worth recalling the backdrop to this sordid affair. Banks has been found guilty of deliberately falsifying a key aspect of the electoral system of local government for personal gain. The Police, who were so zealous in pursuing the cameraman who recorded the Banks/John Key “cup of tea” recording in Epsom, didn’t want a bar of pursuing Banks on this matter. It took a private prosecution to even begin to bring Banks to rights. While under the shadow of this prosecution, Banks was still able to sit in Parliament and cast a crucial vote that enabled the SkyCity convention deal to scrape through Parliament.

      (My bold.)

      A nutshell.

  9. AmaKiwi 10

    Dotcom said he would bring down both Banks and Key.

    One down. One to go. I can hardly wait.

    “Kim Dotcom, the gift that keeps on giving.” (quoting Mickey Savage.)

    • tc 10.1

      Yes the Albatross that is Banks now rots even further around keys neck as he gave him full backing with that ‘looking the other way, not reading, not caring ‘ approach the MSM lap up like the coiffured poodles they are.

      Contrast this to what Clark did to Field and her demotion of ministers rorting the cabinet rules with Key’s inaction over Double Dipton, higher standards for sure yeah right.

      In keeping their US mates happy they’ve angered a resourceful and highly tech savvy resident after taking his money and hospitality, one feels he’s got some more stories to tell when the time is right.

      Bring it on KDC.

  10. BLiP 11

    Nice work by Justice Wyllie. I note with interest that his reasoning surrounding the “knowingly” aspect is that John Banks didn’t ask about the Dotcom donation is that he knew what the answer would be. This very same reasoning can be applied to John Key’s statement that he never read the police report on the matter . . . assuming of course, John Key was telling the truth . . . but, either way, John Key is also guilty of remaining deliberately ignorant of matters of concern.

    • Bearded Git 11.1

      Judge Wyllie just did his job.

      It was blindingly obvious Banks was lying through his teeth which is why he will get a conviction on August 1st. To not convict would send a terrible message.

      It appears parliament will have to be recalled after this solely to vote on whether a by-election (which nobody wants) should be called.

      If Banks resigned now it would avoid this shambles. But that would deprive Labour and the Greens of asking Key “Does he stand by all his statements?” supplementary “does he still believe John Banks is honest?” and “does the PM now regret having a cup of tea with Mr. Banks?” so on for 2 lovely months.

    • Tracey 11.2

      the right are suggesting that as this was during his maorlty it has less impact on him as an mp. Or at least thats my understandin of some posts/commentators including boag. BUT banks told dotcoms lawyer he couldnt help him as an mp in case the donation came out, so clearly it did impact him as an mp.

  11. John 12

    So what should be the punishment for splitting donations into two so they can be labelled anonymous?

    And how should that compare to the punishment for hiding donations in a secret trust so they can be labelled anonymous? (i.e. as David Cunliffe did)

    And was Banks crime of electoral fraud better or worse than the Labour candidate who got done for the same offence, also in the Auckland local body elections, for making up lots of false voters?

    (He got 5 months community detention.)

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Ah, the old but they did it too whinge from the RWNJs.

      • TheContrarian 12.1.1

        I think thrust of the comment was less concerned with “But they did it too” rather it was whether the nature of offending was greater than that of other offenses and should the punishment be in-line with said offenses.

      • John 12.1.2

        I have no sympathy for Banks – he’s an oddball.

        But both he and Cunliffe hid donations as anonymous, and arguably Cunliffe went more out of his way to avoid declaring donations by setting up a secret private trust.

        Despite doing that, I can’t see that either gained any significant benefit from doing so.

        • Tracey

          cunliffe broke his party ules

          John banks broke the law

          Both morally wrong, imo, only one a crime.

          Read the decision, the judge is clear that banks knew exactly what he was doing, namely avoiding revealling a donor he thought could harm his image if revealled and then falsely declared he didnt know whi it came from. He went out of his way to decieve and hide the deceit.

          Banks then stood outside the court and denied the judges finding

          Cunliffe returned the money of those who didnt want to be named, and named the others.

          I think there is a difference

          • John

            I agree – they both hid donations, but one method broke the law and the other didn’t.

            So should Banks have filtered Dotcoms money though a secret trust instead?

            IMO he shouldn’t have touched Dotcoms money – he has a criminal record dating back the last twenty years, that’s followed him from country to country.

            He seems to continually make his money by ripping other people off.

            • bad12

              i regularly donate to political parties, social/charitable causes, i have a criminal past dating back at least 40 years,

              Should i be barred from contributing or those needing such donations barred from accepting them…

              • Tracey

                John is trying to make what banks did ok bad, so he will twist and bob and weave.

                Perhaps this is why key is so popular, the majority of our fellow citizens think laws and morals apply only to beneficiaries…

              • John

                That fine if it’s your money you’re donating, but not ok if it’s money you’ve made by ripping off other people.

                • bad12

                  And you of course John are absolutely certain that DotCom was giving Banks monies that He had ”ripped off other people” right,

                  You are about to provide us all here with ”proof” of your assertion right???,

                  • John

                    [Off topic. Deleted – MS]

                  • Tracey

                    of course not, John didnt come here to deal with facts… or he would have been pasting quotes from John key in 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2014 to show how affronted he is

            • Anne

              I agree – they both hid donations, but one method broke the law and the other didn’t.

              And don’t forget the one who didn’t was upfront about it from Day One. He found himself in a dilemma because two of his financial supporters didn’t want their names publicly revealed. He was advised to create a trust to protect their identities. It was bad advice as it turned out but he knew he had to take the rap for it and he did.

              So there was a clear moral difference too.

              • bad12

                And of course David Cunliffe as soon as it was pointed out that such donations had to be registered in the Members register of gifts received did just that, along with giving back the donations where the donors wanted to remain anonymous,

                There’s a mile of differences in that and what Banks accomplished from the point of deliberately having the Dotcom monies split into two cheques, through to attending the High Court trying to have an actual trial quashed and still despite the conviction appearing to deny any guilt…

              • John

                Anne says “And don’t forget the one who didn’t was upfront about it from Day One. ”

                No – he was only upfront after he got caught out.

                Either way, they both did the same thing – tried to hide the identities of donors. Both gained the same advantage (not much)

                I think both should be done for it. But David Cunliffe was lucky because what he did was only unethical – not actually against the rules.

                Which makes him look highly hypocritical being first in line calling for Banks resignation.

                His advisors should have told him to lie a bit low on this one.

                But I’m not unhappy to see Banks go.

                • karol

                  Either way, they both did the same thing

                  No, they didn’t.

                • Anne

                  No – he was only upfront after he got caught out.

                  Caught out doing what? Setting up a trust? In that case half the country should be under suspicion. You conveniently forget the deliberately hidden trusts the National Party have run under various disguises collecting millions of undeclared dollars over a period of time. Some of them may still be in existence. David Cunliffe set up a one very small trust for one specific purpose… to allow a few people’s identity to be protected at their request.

                  Can’t see the difference? No, just another r.w. fool who is being hoodwinked by John Key and his spin merchants.

                  • John

                    The difference? Banks hid donations as anonymous when they weren’t, and Cunliffe hid donations as anonymous when they weren’t.

                    Anne says “to allow a few people’s identity to be protected at their request.”

                    Wrong. It was at David Cunliffe’s request – he even said so himself.

                    Cunliffe says, quote “I referred him on, but I was not aware of how that ended up. When people offered to help, they were referred to the trustee.”

                    • Tracey

                      By just repeating your false logic over and over doesn’t make it suddenly true or accurate.

                      John Banks broke a law. Cunliffe did not, you even admit this higher up but dismiss it because it contradicts your view they have done the same thing. Banks proceeded to cost us all hundreds of thousands in legal fees and court time and costs to avoid the very verdict just passed down. That is his right, but by your logic that moves him toward heinous.

                      Has John Banks refunded the $50,000 to Dotcom?

                    • Anne

                      You’re a liar John.

                      I clearly remember Cunliffe being interviewed (TV1 and TV2) and revealing that some of his donors had asked for an assurance their identities would not be made public.


                    • Anne

                      You’re a liar John.

                      I clearly remember Cunliffe being interviewed (TV1 and TV2) and revealing that some of his donors had asked for an assurance their identities would not be made public.


    • felix 12.2

      And how should that compare to the punishment for hiding donations in a secret trust so they can be labelled anonymous? (i.e. as David Cunliffe did)

      Eh? Are you suggesting that Cunliffe actually knew who his donors were? I was under the impression that the trust was run by his campaign lawyer.

      • John 12.2.1

        felix asks “Are you suggesting that Cunliffe actually knew who his donors were? ”

        Yes – (at least according to David Cunliffe himself)

        He is quoted in the Herald saying donors approached him directly, and he told them to put the money in the secret trust.

        • felix

          Taking your word for that, did he give a reason for using the trust? Was it so the donors could maintain their privacy? Or something else?

          • felix

            Actually John, having noted your weaseling in other responses, I don’t think I will take your word for that.

            Sow me what he actually said.

            • John

              Cunliffe “I referred him on, but I was not aware of how that ended up. When people offered to help, they were referred to the trustee.”

              Regardless of whether he or the donor asked to use the trust, he is legally required to list ALL donations over $500 and who they are from.

              He didn’t do that.

              Which is illegal.

              • felix

                Whatever. The point is he didn’t know who donated to the trust.

                Your attempt at an equivalence with Banks – who personally requested $$ amounts and personally received the money in brown envelopes and then pretended he didn’t know those people had donated – is ridiculous.

              • Tracey

                which law did he break and why do you think no one has reported it or taken a private prosecution?

  12. karol 13

    So does Key think Kim Dotcom is standing as a candidate for the IP? Or is he as confused as Jamie Whyte. TV3 News tonight.

    “I’m not going to be lectured by David Cunliffe – if he were a man of principle he says he is, he would be ruling out the Internet Party and Kim Dotcom who’s before the courts and is a convicted fraudster,” says Mr Key.

    ACT Leader Jamie Whyte was confused when 3 News asked if Banks should resign.

    in the video, Whyte replies to the question about whether Banks will resign:

    Oh, well, I mean, he will. You know he wants the um, he wants to get a conviction. He wants NOT to get a conviction.

    • bad12 13.1

      Karol, that last bit from the head ACTor, it tends to have me going sniff sniff, i smell something bad, bad in the same vein as Phillip alludes to in His comments above…

      • Tracey 13.1.1

        I dont believe people would speak openly of such collusion in the courtroom with anyone they didnt know in the room. My guy feeling is phil misheard a couple of words. I hope phil is wrong.

        • phillip ure

          @ tracey..they were so in the moment..they didn’t see/notice me..and there was nobody else within earshot..i was the only one..

          ..they weren’t talking surrounded by people..

          ..and i ‘misheard’ not a word..

      • karol 13.1.2

        Well, all it shows to me is that Whtye is appalling as a communicator. And possibly that he didn’t really want to support Banks, but he had to avoid dissing him.

        • bad12

          In reverse Whyte is saying that Banks wants to avoid a conviction so He will resign, what happens next will be interesting to say the least…

    • weka 13.2

      “John Key refuses to comment on John Banks ruling: “It’s still before the courts” while talking to media ‘daily’ about my extradition case.” KDC

      “So does Key think Kim Dotcom is standing as a candidate for the IP?”

      Nevermind, they have King Kapisi!

    • Tracey 13.3

      Apples and oranges. John, above, is doing the same to make banks innocent and cunliffe guilty.

    • veutoviper 13.4

      I seem to remember way back when Whyte first got the job as ACT leader, he made some cryptic remark to the effect that he could always walk away if things did not go well, or something similar.

      Don’t have time/energy to find a link, but my thoughts at the time were that if the going got tough, he might well do that.

      IMO he is incredibly naive politically (being generous!) but his interview on Morning Report and this tonight leave me gobsmacked. It is not spin or anything similar – just …. Would not surprise me if he did decide to throw it in, if he continues in this vein.

  13. Tracey 14

    when banks spoke outside the court he framed everything as “we”


    • veutoviper 14.1

      I noticed that also. I read it as Banks pushing the whole thing away from him personally by not using “I” – in effect subconscious denial.

      • felix 14.1.1

        Yes possibly. It may also be that he’s accustomed to claiming credibility by speaking on behalf of an imaginary political movement.

        Peter Dunne does it too.

      • Tracey 14.1.2

        I thought that too VeutoV, that it showed he doesn’t consider anything that just happened was about him personally… being an honest man, well “pretty” honest according to the PM.

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