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The “cabbage boat” defence.

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, October 18th, 2013 - 33 comments
Categories: act, john banks, local body elections, national, national/act government - Tags:

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.


33 comments on “The “cabbage boat” defence.”

  1. weka 1

    What’s the cababge boat defence?

  2. Rogue Trooper 2


  3. BrucetheMoose 3

    If Johnny B is found guilty, he can forget about the whole cabbage boat analogy thing. It will be no more gravy boat at the taxpayers expense either. When he and Johnny K are out of their political careers next year, they perhaps can turn over a new leaf and try their hands at something else. Something totally away from politics might do them both wonders. After all, they are not very good at it anyway. A new beginning with a brighter future. Something like running one of those quaint Ye Ol’ English style pubs together. Included with all the usual old world pub trappings, they could complete it all with one of those typically Englishy pub names with those cute countryside animals in it. They could call it The Weasel And The Ferret.

  4. Lloyd 4

    I believe cabbage is a large part of the prison menu.

  5. tc 5

    Let’s hope it’s a long slow cabbage sideshow leading up to this abhorrent govt being turfed from office.

    Banks is such an asset to the opposition, the best hollowmen money can buy.

  6. David H 6

    “I think Banks did come down the river on a cabbage boat.”

    This maybe true. But now he’s up a creek in a barbed wire canoe without a paddle, and the Alligators and Piranha’s are circling.

  7. bad12 7

    i would actually take issue with what the Judge is saying in His decision, ‘the issue’ cannot just rest on what John Banks says was ‘in His mind’ at the time He signed the declaration,

    That simply hands Banks a ‘get out of jail free card’ and deciding the case simply upon the basis of what was in Bank’s mind should be argued against with vigor,

    The evidence from the DotCom camp ‘hangs’ Banks in that Banks had sought to have the 50,000 dollar donation from DotCom split in two so as to ‘enable’ Banks to be able to declare these donations as ‘anonymous’,

    The DotCom evidence shows that Banks, long befor the declaration was either filled out or signed by Banks himself was already willfully conspiring to hide donations knowing full well where those donations had come from,

    The actions of Banks in the months befor He signed that declaration cannot be viewed vis a vis the Sky City and DotCom donations as being in any way separated from ‘what was in His mind’ at the actual point of the declarations signing,

    Banks, to my knowledge isn’t two different people, what was in His mind at the point He received the Sky City and DotCom donations MUST have still been ‘somewhere’ in Banks mind when He signed the declaration,

    ”Ah Derr i forgot about those donations isn’t a legal excuse”….

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      Watch for Banks to show symptons ( or a Doctors diagnosis ) of confused state of mind

      or you could listen to Radio live interview where he does just that

    • Te Reo Putake 7.2

      Bad, the judge is indirectly saying that Banks did in fact sign an incorrect declaration. The reason he talks about what was in Banks’ mind is that a conviction rests on whether he did so knowingly. It comes down to intent.


      • bad12 7.2.1

        Te Reo, aha, and what i am saying is that the case cannot simply be allowed to rest upon what Bank’s ‘intent’ was at the time the declaration was signed,

        The ‘intent’ of Banks via the evidence of DotCom and DotComs security guard cannot be simply brushed aside in favor of ‘what Banks was thinking’, that evidence shows exactly what Banks ‘intent’ was not something as yet to be concocted by Banks and His lawyers…

        • Te Reo Putake

          But the case does come down to intent, as do all criminal cases, as I understand it. For example, if I killed someone and that was my intent, I’m charged with murder. If it was not my intent, then it’s manslaughter.

          Bank can admit signing a false declaration and still get off, if it’s determined that he did not have criminal intent. That’s actually a good thing, because that seem level of protection applies to all citizens.

          • bad12

            Yes and what i am alluding to is the fact that the Judge will happily let Banks walk on the ‘get out of jail card’ if Banks simply says He had ‘No intent’,

            The intent, unless DotCom and his security guard are discredited in some way is ‘proven’ at the point of the conversation surrounding the DotCom donation…

            • Te Reo Putake

              It doesn’t work like that. The trial judge will make up his own mind, not rely on Banks’s word. Bear in mind, that by committing him to trial, one judge has already refused to take Banks at his word.

              • bad12

                ”It doesn’t work like that”, exactly what f**king planet did you just catapult in from Te Reo,

                If you have spent a life-time in and out of District Courtrooms like i have you will know that ‘it does work like that’,

                The statement by the depositions Judge that ” the issue in contention is what was going through Banks mind at the point He signed the declaration” simply gives Banks a ‘get out of jail free card’…

                • Te Reo Putake

                  What more can I say? You’re wrong. Mens rea has been at the heart of criminal trials in NZ since we’ve had a judicial system. It’s the same in most western countries and has been for centuries. That you don’t understand the concept doesn’t mean it isn’t central to Banks’s defence.

                  • bad12

                    You probably would have shown yourself to be a lot smarter if you had chosen to say nothing,

                    Why Te Reo do you think i keep referring you to the DotCom checks and the conversation surrounding the how and why of those checks issuance,

                    That is your ‘mens rea’, proof of an intention to commit the crime,

                    The fact that Banks signed the declaration is the ‘actus reas,’ the committing of the crime…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Great, you’ve finally read my link. You still haven’t got your head around the concept, but at least you’ve learned the words.

                      So to recap; the reason the judge said what he did about what was in Banks’s mind is because that’s something the judge is required to take into account when moving the case to trial. You may not like it, and you certainly don’t understand it, but there it is.

                      To convict, the trial judge will have to decide whether a criminal act occurred, whether the accused committed that act and whether the accused had criminal intent in doing so. You and I both believe all three to be the case, but it still has to be proved. Which is the bit you seem to think is irrelevant, apparently. Are you Judge Dredd in disguise?

                      If the intent is not proven, then Banks could walk away free, even if the judge says he signed a false declaration. Without the criminal intent the ruling could be that a conviction would have consequences that outweigh the damage done and a discharge without conviction might be entered. Banks would be a first time offender, as far as I recall, so he might even be eligible for diversion.

                      In order for Banks to be thrown out of Parliament, he absolutely has to be found to have a “guilty mind”.

                    • bad12

                      You willfully fail to see the point i have been making all along, the Judge was wrong to say that the issue of contention was what was in Banks mind at the point He signed the return,

                      Banks could have had only the thought of what was for dinner that night in his mind when He signed the return and He has still committed the crime,

                      The intention to commit the crime is expressed in the manner of and the taking of the fifty thousand dollars in two twenty five thousand dollar checks from DotCom,

                      What both you and the depositions Judge are suggesting is that Banks at the time He signed the return had to have been thinking or knowing it was a crime at that exact time,

                      That’s just bullshit, Banks could have genuinely forgotten what checks He got from whom and who’s checks were recorded as anonymous or not even read the document as He claimed, His prior actions surrounding the checks from DotCom prove the intention by Banks to commit A crime and His later signing of the return simply identifies THE crime that He did commit…

                    • bad12

                      PS, Banks aint a first time offender either, you should keep up with the play, lolz i was at His first one giving Him heaps of s**t and i might even turn up in the Aux court hoping to do the same for His second…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I don’t remember Banks getting a criminal conviction, but I do have a vague feeling this is not his first time in the dock. Remind me?

                      As for the rest of your comment, I’m sticking with what I, and the judge, know about the law. As I said earlier, the fact you don’t understand why his intent is important is not relevant to anything and the case will be tried according to NZ law, not your foreshortened version of it.

                      But to touch on the cheques, the trial judge still has to decide whether he believes KDC’s version of events or Banks’s version. That’s just one of several parts of the story that all have to go against Banks for him to be convicted. As I understand it, even if true, it’s not what he’s charged with and probably isn’t illegal in itself. The act of covering it up is what has got Banks in trouble. Same for the Sky City cheque; dodgy behaviour, but not actually a crime in itself. But evidence of criminal intent in the later signing of the return, which is the important bit.

                      There are one or two lawyers floating about this site, if I’ve got this wrong, I’d be happy to be corrected.

    • Crunchtime 7.3

      Sorry this isn’t really contributing to the discussion, but I have to say this because it keeps bothering me.

      Please stop capitalising “his” and “he”. It’s incorrect.

      The only people who insist on capitalising “his” and “he” and “him” are religious types when they are referring to yahweh or heysoos or whatever deity they happen to be worshipping. Mr Banks (or any others referred to here) is hardly one of those. 😛

  8. veutoviper 8

    Last night there was some discussion re the Solicitor-General possibly taking over the prosecution of the Banks trial – eg here is a link to my comment on this on Open Mike


    An article has now come up on the Herald site on this. McCready is now lobbying MPs to support this as his health is not in good shape, nor are his finances.


  9. chrissy 9

    Anything that goes through Banks’s mind usually ends up as coleslaw.

  10. Sable 10

    What the old saying, money opens all doors.

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