The Jackal raised the question of corruption in relation to John Banks in a comment on Eddie’s “met or meet” post, and has written more about it on his blog. It was based on Dave Fisher’s revelations in today’s Herald. DotCom’s bodyguard reported that in July 2011 Banks had asked DotCom for funds for ACT, had expressed disappointment that his representations regarding the mansion purchase had not been successful, and that he would expect to be much more successful “once we were in government”.
Later in November, after Banks had been elected an MP, and in the course of seeking a recommendation for a hotel room in Hong Kong, Tempero reported of Banks:
“He [said he] would like to sit down with you in the new year to talk about how he can be a service to [you] and the family now [he] is back as an MP.”
Banks has admitted that he made representations to Maurice Williamson regarding DotCom’s mansion purchase and asked for funds for ACT before he was an MP. The latter is not surprising as he had already discussed getting a donation for his mayoralty campaign with DotCom. Banks told Fisher that DotCom had told him he could get f***ked re the donation – that probably happened in January, after Banks had cut DotCom dead when he was in Mt Eden prison in the Epsom electorate.
Section 103 of the Crimes Act states:
103 Corruption and bribery of member of Parliament
(1) Every member of Parliament is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees or offers to accept or attempts to obtain, any bribe for himself or any other person in respect of any act done or omitted, or to be done or omitted, by him in his capacity as a member of Parliament.
Banks has now admitted that he received a $1000 gift from DotCom in his hotel room at the same time he got a significant discount through DotCom’s good services for which he thanked him. Banks has now also admitted that he did not reveal this gift in the Parliamentary Pecuniary register as required by 29 February.
So it appears on the evidence of DotCom’s lieutenant that it may be that when he was a Member of Parliament Banks was offering to accept financial consideration in respect of any act to be done by him in his capacity as a member of Parliament.
This certainly ups the stakes for Banks and for Key. Like the Murdochs in Britain, they have resorted to “wilful blindness” regarding Banks’ description of DotCom’s donation of $50,000 to his mayoral campaign as “anonymous”. Key has refused to ask Banks any direct questions, continued to accept Banks’s assurance that he acted legally as question piles on question, and said Ministerial ethics wasn’t an issue as Banks was not a Member of Parliament at the time of the mayoral donation.
But he was a Member of Parliament when he made the offer of service to DotCom in the context of seeking financial assistance from him. This makes Philip Field look like a Good Samaritan. Banks has to go.