John Banks is in court to answer allegations over his Dotcom donations and
brain fades lies:
Loss in court would cost Banks seat
… Mr Banks has been called to court to answer allegations that he received money from internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and SkyCity during his run for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010 but declared them as anonymous.
Graham McCready, a retired accountant, is bringing the private prosecution against Mr Banks after police concluded last year they could not prove he had made a false return. Yesterday, Mr Banks said he would defend the new charges because he had not committed an offence. A conviction for knowingly filing a false return carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or a fine of $10,000.
Under electoral law, a parliamentary seat is vacated if an MP is convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term of two years or more. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler, of Wellington, confirmed that if Mr Banks was found guilty, he would be removed from Parliament, regardless of the sentence. “If a conviction is entered, even if there is an appeal … he ceases to be an MP.”
Internal and police investigations have a habit of concluding nothing much, but our courts are known for delivering independent and honest verdicts. There’s a real risk to Banks here.
This is the politician who is propping up John Key’s government. Without Banks, the Nats don’t have a majority. How would an Epsom by election play out?