The Banks trial

May 30th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

made every effort to keep “politically sensitive” donations to his failed 2010 Auckland mayoralty bid secret, the Crown says, but Banks’ lawyer argues the politician had nothing to gain from that and is a victim of Kim Dotcom-orchestrated lies.

The nothing to gain is a significant aspect to this. Banks was the loser, not the winner, of the campaign. When he filed the return he was not planning a political future. Revealing the Dotcom donation and the Sky City one would not have damaged him in any way.

Mr Jones pointed out inconsistencies in prosecution evidence ? Mrs Dotcom said she was present when donations were discussed, Mr Dotcom said she was not.

Now the pair were separated, Mr Dotcom couldn’t rely on her to support him so took her out of the picture, Mr Jones said.

But Mrs Dotcom went along with the earlier agreed version of events and that “proves the lie”.

And former Dotcom accountant Grant McKavanagh originally said he travelled down to Queenstown and posted the cheques there, when they were actually deposited into Banks’ account at a North Shore Westpac.

When that was pointed out Mr McKavanagh couldn’t explain his “fairytale” evidence, Mr Jones said.

That piece of evidence is bizarre. How could you get wrong a claim that you travelled to Queenstown to post the cheques?

The Crown had failed to put forward a motivation for Banks to falsely declare donations and Mr Dotcom wasn’t even on the public radar in 2010.

Mr Jones said Banks’ campaign was financially transparent.

His team had chosen not to use a secret trust to channel payments, as was allowed, and on one occasion when Banks was handed a cheque, he banked it and informed Mr Hutchison of the situation.

Banks should have done what Len Brown and David Cunliffe did, and set up a secret trust. However he didn’t, and he should have taken more care with his donations return. It isn’t good enough to rely on someone else, when you are the guy who signs it.

Also of interest is the court judgement against . Extracts:

In the present case, I am in no doubt that the footage of Mr Banks broadcast by TV3/Media Works in the 6 o’clock news bulletin on 22 May 2014 was neither fair, nor balanced. It did not respect Mr Banks’ rights. It was gratuitous and tasteless. The justifications advanced by Ms Bradley were, in my view, disingenuous. The footage broadcast did not show Mr Banks’ reaction to the interview being played in court. Rather, it was a sideshow broadcast seemingly to entertain. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the broadcast was intended to expose Mr Banks to ridicule and/or derision. There was, in my judgment, no news value in the footage at all, and no public interest was served by broadcasting it. In my judgment, TV3/Media Works’ decision to broadcast the footage was irresponsible and it reflects no credit on the organisation.

What makes this worse for TV3 is the decision was not taken by some junior staff member. The decision was made the the general counsel and the deputy head of news and current affairs.

It seems may also be in some trouble. They were responsible for the camera and it was meant to be turned off after the first 15 minutes of the day. The Judge has asked to also explain why it was left on.

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79 Responses to “The Banks trial”

  1. kowtow (8,323 comments) says:

    TV3 does not run a news service. It’s commie propaganda.

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  2. Tarquin North (261 comments) says:

    If the judge thought TV3 news was bad he should try watching Campbell Live.

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  3. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  4. unaha-closp (1,158 comments) says:

    The nothing to gain is a significant aspect to this. Banks was the loser, not the winner, of the campaign. When he filed the return he was not planning a political future. Revealing the Dotcom donation and the Sky City one would not have damaged him in any way.

    Yet he was an MP a year and a bit later. Amazing how that happened.

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  5. Bill Ted (93 comments) says:

    Hadn’t really thought about the nothing to gain perspective. Whereas Dotcom is a proven liar, with the NZ Herald in his pocket.

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  6. anticorruptionnz (212 comments) says:

    A secret trust would not have saved him and a secret trust s not going to save Len Brown.

    there is no such thing as a secret trust , the trustees still have obligations and the trustees need to be identified so as to have that obligation.

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  7. Nostradamus (3,246 comments) says:

    Incoming thread bomb from Penny Bright in 3… 2… 1…

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  8. dave53 (88 comments) says:

    It seems TVNZ may also be in some trouble. They were responsible for the camera and it was meant to be turned off after the first 15 minutes of the day. The Judge has asked TVNZ to also explain why it was left on.

    The camera is entitled to record the entire proceedings. The 15-minute rule applies to filming the defendant only. But they broke that rule by filming Banks much later in the day.

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  9. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    “The nothing to gain is a significant aspect to this. Banks was the loser, not the winner, of the campaign. When he filed the return he was not planning a political future. Revealing the Dotcom donation and the Sky City one would not have damaged him in any way.”

    The “nothing to gain” argument has some but not as much weight as might be suggested by the prosecutor. It is true that Banks lost the election. However, the prosecutor relied heavily on the machinations that allegedly took place at the time of receipt (the alleged request for separate cheques, the avowed intended to preserve anonymity and the sealed envelope from Sky City). The Prosecutor strongly suggested that this was all part of a predetermined plan to declare anonymous donations in the event that he won the election. If the prosecution can establish that intention, it might well be a reasonable supposition that the subsequently false declaration was deliberate. The question is whether such a supposition could be regarded as proof beyond reasonable doubt.

    At the time these alleged machinations were taking place, Banks was clearly contemplating winning the election.

    Banks’ biggest hope is that the judge rejects any predetermined machination or intention to declare anonymous donations and accepts that in the lassitude of defeat, Banks was less than diligent when signing the declaration.

    Banks has a problem if the judge finds that Banks was being underhand at the time of solicitation and acceptance of the donations. Such a finding would be consistent with a predetermined strategy to declare anonymous donations. Again, it is plausible (but not as much so) that a dispirited loser might be somewhat careless about his obligations to make correct declarations and may not have inspected the content of the declarations with the same degree of diligence as he should have. Such a failure may be morally culpable but not necessarily criminally.

    I agree with the criticism of TV3. Despite mikenmild’s sarcastic rejoinder, court reporting is not there for the entertainment of the viewer. TV 3 would have been well aware of the constraints stipulated by the Court when giving consent to film but decided that it would ignore those constraints given the opportunity to hold Banks up to ridicule. Had this been a jury trial, TV3 would have been dealt with more severely.

    It is noteworthy that, as far as I can see, TV 3 failed to give any serious analysis of the conflicting evidence of Dotcom and his entourage or give the viewer the opportunity to analyse the extent of the conflicts. It was more interested in publishing the “you are a liar” comments. This suggests that it held a somewhat jaundiced view of the defendant in the dock.

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  10. RightNow (6,986 comments) says:

    I imagine a lot of people will be upset if Banks is not found to be guilty, but at least they’ll have the earwax incident to mollify them.

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  11. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    I am very glad TV3 got busted out of the courtroom…we don’t want or need our courts to become the kind of sideshow acts which are common in the US

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  12. RJL (145 comments) says:

    It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the broadcast was intended to expose Mr Banks to ridicule and/or derision.

    As ever, it is in fact John Banks’ own actions that have exposed him to ridicule and derision.

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  13. Psycho Milt (2,411 comments) says:

    The nothing to gain is a significant aspect to this. Banks was the loser, not the winner, of the campaign. When he filed the return he was not planning a political future.

    That’s ridiculous. Whether he had anything to gain or not when he filed the donation is irrelevant – what is relevant is whether he had anything to gain at the time he took the donations. That’s the point at which it’s claimed he asked for the donations to be anonymised, and at that point he was planning to win. When he eventually filed the returns, of course he didn’t have anything to gain from those donations being anonymous, but equally of course he wasn’t going to go through the books trying to figure out which donations had been anonymised so he could correct them. Who would do that?

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  14. altiora (261 comments) says:

    @ mikenmild: not as easy as that. Cameras in court rooms are a proper pain the backside for the judges, where there are juries, protected witnesses and name suppression, not to mention the awkwardness of having your every move and statement captured and broadcast for all involved (it doesn’t assist the consideration of complex law and evidence). If you’re a judge, you rightly should be angry at the media disobeying the rules: there being a real risk if standards slip of images of jury members and protected witnesses being broadcasted.

    The courts have given media a very short leash for good reason. This incident shows that the media clearly need to be reminded who is boss, and it is good that for the first time in their wretched lives these journalists will be required to adhere to the rules.

    I loathe Banks, but I loathe the unprofessional behaviour of the media even more.

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  15. RightNow (6,986 comments) says:

    RJL makes a valid point. If Banks had kept his finger out of his orifices in public there’d be nothing to laugh at. I’ve never been inclined to eat my own earwax. Sometimes I roll my belly button lint up in it to make miniature votive candles as presents for distant relatives, but I’d never eat it.

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  16. william blake (109 comments) says:

    It just goes to show what stern stuff Banks is made of. Have you ever tried eating ear wax?

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  17. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    I disagree with you psycho. The relevant time for assessing his state of mind, for the purposes of determining guilt, is at the time of the declaration. You are right that his state of mind at the time of solicitation may be relevant because it may be evidence of a predetermined strategy to keep significant donations anonymous and the court may conclude that such a state of mind continued up until and including the time of the declaration. Obviously, at the time donations were discussed, Banks was not considering losing the election and was viewing the donations in the context of an electoral victory.

    Even if the court believes that Banks was being sneaky when the donations were solicited, it still has to assess whether that evidence establishes that Banks knowingly made a false declaration some months later. I am not justifying Banks’ state of mind – just saying that a losing candidate may well have been somewhat careless when signing the declaration. If the Court rejects Dotcom’s evidence, Banks may well be acquitted. If the Court accepts that evidence, Banks could be acquitted but might well count himself lucky. Banks could be acquitted of the $25,000 donations but convicted of the Sky City donation.

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  18. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    How is posting the cheques in Queenstown inconsistent with them later being deposited at a North Shore branch?

    As for having no motive in not declaring the donations from Dotcom and Sky City, after losing the mayoral election, thus it must have been an oversight … the strategy not to declare them would have been decided on while contesting the election. The simple explanation for not then being open about it was – no expectation that Dotcom of Sky City would reveal any of this.

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  19. mandk (968 comments) says:

    @ mikenmild

    So it was ok because it was for the amusement of the viewers?

    That’s a bit like the journo involved in the News of the World phone tapping scandal in the UK who claimed that anything that interested the public was in the public interest.

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  20. kowtow (8,323 comments) says:

    mandk

    the more crap milky posts ,the more I’m convinced he/she is a troll come here to stir up.tosser.

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  21. kowtow (8,323 comments) says:

    william blake

    You seem to imply some knowledge of eating ear wax, tell us.

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  22. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Becoming a bit obsessed there, kowtow?

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  23. goldnkiwi (1,280 comments) says:

    Not guilty

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  24. chrisdiack (19 comments) says:

    Nookin:

    You should not speculate on things you know something about.

    The expenses return is not a declaration (statutory or otherwise) it is simply a expenses return which includes donations portion.

    Issues of recklessness are dealt with in the scheme of the act under the then 134 (2) of the Local Electoral Act 2001. The Crown cannot run a defacto recklessness argument under s134(1) if the charge is not available to it.

    The Crown must prove BRD that Banks had actual knowledge of any falsity in the return at the time of transmittal – i.e. 9 December 2010. It tried to float willful blindless (i.e. knew of the falsity but averted one’s gaze) but that is problematic too for the defence made the point: what is the motive for actual knowledge or will bindlessness. Why would a donation from SkyCity be politically sensitive when Banks was out of office and had publicly supported a convention centre at Skycity. As for the donations from Mr DotCom he was not known as that then nor did he have a public profile. Again what would it matter to Banks either way at the time of the return.

    DPF:

    You repeatedly mischaracterise the Banks defence: it is not that he did not read the donations portion of the return prior to signing it – although the fact that he did not was accepted by the Crown. It was that the DotCom donation was correctly recorded as anonymous and that whether the SkyCity donation was correctly or incorrectly recorded; he was not aware of this nor was there any reason for him to suspect there was an issue about how it was recorded.

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  25. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    chrisdiack, and the prosecution case would be that there was a conspiracy to receive donations in a form whereby they would be recorded as anonymous by the help, and despite knowing otherwise, Bank’s deliberately forgets this when signing the declaration.

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  26. Pongo (371 comments) says:

    Apparently it was spliced together, one clip of Banks cleaning his ear was mashed up with a separate clip of his finger in his mouth. Outrageous but to be expected from TV3

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  27. Fentex (937 comments) says:

    Revealing the Dotcom donation and the Sky City one would not have damaged him in any way.

    Arguing Banks lost therefore he doesn’t care about his reputation, apart from ignoring his likely wish to sit on influential and profitable boards and committees, is an irrelevant effort to invoke eason where it isn’t to be found.

    If people who broke laws were always rational they would not break laws or when doing so would be making cold calculations on the odds of being caught. Banks may have been caught, so all appealing to his reason could tell us, if he is coldly rational, is that he lost a gamble.

    Large donations raise suspicions of expected quid pro quo, which in turn raises suspicions against someones character.

    Whether or not that person succeeds or fails after accepting an apparent offer of quid for quo is irrelevant to their probable wish to protect their ongoing reputation.

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  28. David Garrett (7,110 comments) says:

    Alitora: Well said Sir…except for the last sentence…

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  29. Psycho Milt (2,411 comments) says:

    I disagree with you psycho. The relevant time for assessing his state of mind, for the purposes of determining guilt, is at the time of the declaration.

    Seems to me that if the SkyCity and Dotcom witnesses’ accounts are true, Banks had to know very well he had donations from them in his declaration that were declared anonymous. The fact he had nothing to gain from leaving them anonymous is irrelevant – it would have taken time and effort to change the declaration and maybe he just couldn’t be arsed. I have no idea whether being careless or lazy constitutes guilt in this context, but the defence line that he had nothing to gain at the time he signed at the point of signing the declaration is wrong – any ‘gain’ part was at the time of taking the donations.

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  30. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    Ignorance is no defence, but forgetting or being too lazy to correct a known error is a defence?

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  31. chrisdiack (19 comments) says:

    SPC:

    Again you actually know nothing about what happened at the trial.

    No evidence of conspiracy to receive anonymous donations was adduced by the Crown: the law allows donors to make their donation anonymous – it is up to the donor and is determined by the knowledge of the candidate.

    The only “conspiracy” that might have become apparent to the judge was from what the Defence called the “Dot Com Witnesses”. Just one example that the Defence pointed to was that Mrs Dotcom remembers a conversation in exactly the same way as her husband – except he gave evidence to says she was not present during that conversation.

    It is not possible to “deliberately forget” – the Crown must show actual knowledge of any falsity that is what the Judge will determine.

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  32. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    During the campaign it would have been unwise to have been known as supporting the Casino owners after receiving funds.

    After the campaign, ones reputation as someone others could finance politically without been seen (on the official record) to be buying influence, would have enabled his return to central government as an MP for a new party.

    Thus he continued to gain after the declaration was made.

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  33. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    mikenwimp: You are once again displaying your envious, good-for-nothing, left-wing attitude. Bludging losers such as you are not fit to wipe Banks’ boots, let alone comment on a trial orchestrated by a bunch of verminous leeches. Remember mikenwimp, what goes around comes around.

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  34. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    chrisdiack, the divergent testimony of witnesses is evidence of their lack of collusion and an independent memory of events. It may even be indicative of more than one conversation on the same topic, one remembers one of the conversations and forgets the other, whereas the other witness only heard that one.

    It is not up to the donor if their donation is of such a size it needs to be openly declared.

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  35. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    And if they are asked to make it in instalments to assist in a cover up that enables a false declaration.

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  36. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    The irony of all of this is that Banks and Dotcom could have been jointly charged with conspiracy as per the false return. But someone valued their man in the ACT Party and his Epsom Tea Party vote (and their Sky City friend) too much to make this pawn trade/sacrifice. And now, one $3M shark bite to the rump of our parliamentary system later … .

    It’s so hard keeping Hollywood, the NSA and Sky City and Banks happy at the same time.

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  37. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    I’ve never liked John Banks. He’s a bit of an arse. Some time ago I had the misfortune of listening to him on Radio Pacific, back in the day when he had his own show, while still am MP. His behaviour/language towards his political opponents, while on air was a disgrace. I’ve sacked a couple of my employees when they behaved the same in my work place, and they’re mostly average workers. Not highly paid representatives of the people. Good riddance to him, unfortunately there will me more like him who will proudly take his place.

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  38. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    Chris Diack.

    I appreciate that you were probably intimately involved in the whole thing and that I was not present at the hearing and, regrettably from the perspective of honest reporting, denied the opportunity of learning exactly what went on by a less than adequate media.

    I still think my reasoning stacks up. Banks’ prospects are diminished somewhat if the court concludes that he was acting in bad faith at the time of solicitation. The court still needs to be satisfied that his guilty mind continued up to the point of declaring his donations (or making his return or transmitting the list of income and expenditure or whatever terminology you might want to use – not that it makes any difference to the context of the argument).

    If the court disbelieves dot.com then it would be very difficult to see how Banks could be convicted of those charges (in the absence of any evidence that Banks was aware of the specificity of the two $25,000 deposits at the time of his return). I actually do not think that you and I disagree with each other on the issues. The only possible relevance of the evidence (if accepted) of solicitation and discussion of anonymity is the extent to which the court can conclude that if he was being sneaky at one point of time then he was being sneaky at another point in time. It does not necessarily follow. Sometimes, however, you should not necessarily bet your socks on it. You clearly have a much better appreciation of the evidence. As I pointed out in my first post, the common folk like me were denied the opportunity of getting an objective viewpoint by a media more inclined towards sensationalism.

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  39. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I agree – it is a right to decide to eat ones own ear wax or not – its also everyone’s right to criticise someone that does something so revolting. Doing such a thing, whilst sat in court, on trial, with many on-lookers proves the man is a twat.

    But then we knew that – who wouldn’t remember a flight in a helicopter with KDC – if for no other reason than an immense fear that the helicopter wouldn’t stay in the air.

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  40. NK (1,231 comments) says:

    The simple fact is that if Banks had recorded the two donations of $25,000 as coming from Megaupload Limited that in itself would have been false because he didn’t know that.

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  41. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    judith – “who wouldn’t remember a flight in a helicopter with KDC”

    Nobody is saying that Banks had a helicopter ride WITH DotCom. Just saying.

    Has it actually been proven that Banks actually had the helicopter ride that the left stream media and various opposition parties seem to accept. Or is this one of these “Kim said so it must be true” things.

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  42. Reid (16,290 comments) says:

    He did have something to lose, being ACT leader at the time he filed the return.

    Fact is, he broke both the spirit and the letter of the law in his combination of actions, beginning with splitting the cheque in two. That shows mens rea (guilty mind) and then it was combined when he signed the return.

    He’s an experienced politician and even if he did scribble his signature and immediately turn his mind to something else, he shouldn’t have done that, in precisely the same way a cop who works in road safety shouldn’t drive dangerously, even when no-one is looking.

    What was particularly execrable about Hulun’s regime is she installed her very own satrap into the top cop job as one of her first acts and for her entire term thereafter her minions and herself escaped the due investigative and prosecutorial attention that the law requires ALL fall under no matter who they are. Continuing that injustice after she’s left is unacceptable, in fact, its unacceptable she will never be held to account for what she did in that regard.

    But Banks needs to be prosecuted just as all do who, when in high places, abuse the trust of the people who put them there in the most egregious way.

    What the hell is wrong with people, that they don’t get the fact that their high public office is a sacred trust, to be discharged with the honesty, integrity, diligence and discipline one expects of a priest and if they don’t like that or don’t think they can perform under those conditions, don’t stand.

    Note that I distinguish between past misbehaviour before entering office and that line in the sand. I don’t particularly care what a person’s past is, if I think they now have the integrity required to discharge their duties as described above, that’s fine with me.

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  43. itstricky (1,800 comments) says:

    Igm

    Remember mikenwimp, what goes around comes around.

    Eh bro I’ll get my big brother to smash you bro. Yeah bro.

    Then what Reid said. Oh, except the Helen bits which is his conspiracy side leaking out again.

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  44. Paul Marsden (996 comments) says:

    OneTrack (2,207 comments) says:

    May 30th, 2014 at 5:41 pm
    judith – “who wouldn’t remember a flight in a helicopter with KDC”

    Nobody is saying that Banks had a helicopter ride WITH DotCom. Just saying.

    One Track: Well, the flight manifest records of the day do.

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  45. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Paul Marsden (952 comments) says:
    May 30th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Oh come on – whether KDC was there or not – unless Banks is suffering from early onset Alzheimers there is no way in this world he would ‘forget’ it. The man is a liar, and hopefully will get what he deserves. I admit he is only one of many corrupt in politics, but that shouldn’t save him. I hope they make an example of him – to make the other corrupt MP’s think a little bit more about their practices.

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  46. NK (1,231 comments) says:

    He did have something to lose, being ACT leader at the time he filed the return.

    Wrong. He wasn’t leader of Act at the time. He filed the return in late 2010. The Brash coup didn’t happen until early 2011 and Banks wasn’t leader until after the 2011 election (November 2011) when Brash failed to get elected. Banks couldn’t have known what was going to transpire during 2011.

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  47. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    Reid, Banks joined ACT in May 2011 and became their Epsom candidate, Brash became leader in April 2011 when Hide resigned. The declaration was made before then.

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  48. Reid (16,290 comments) says:

    Then what Reid said. Oh, except the Helen bits…

    I trust then tricky, you’ll have no problem defending DG when lefties once again, bring up his ancient youthful indiscretion which he paid for in spades, yet again?

    Look forward to reading that, when the occasion arises.

    Banks couldn’t have known what was going to transpire during 2011.

    Don’t confuse what the public knows after the announcement with what the players knew as and when it was being formulated. How do you know such wasn’t his primary motive for filing what he filed?

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  49. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Politicians shouldn’t act in a certain way because they have nothing to lose. They should act with honesty and integrity at all times because it is the right thing to do – even more so because they are leaders of our nation and they represent people who trust them to do what is right and lawful.

    Because of that contract of trust, they should be punished harshly when they break it, as far as I’m concerned.

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  50. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    Judith – politicians wouldn’t know the meaning of words like honesty and integrity.

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  51. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ dad4justice (7,437 comments) says:
    May 30th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Yes, that is becoming blatantly obvious.

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  52. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    Politicians live a life of deceit.

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  53. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    A still relevant post from 2012

    Graeme Edgeler (3,225 comments) says:

    July 29th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    “It is worth noting that while John Banks broke no laws, I don’t regard it as a good thing that he signed a donation return saying he did not know who his donors were, when he was involved in personally receiving two of the donations. It was legal, yes, but it is not a good look.”

    As you describe it, it is not legal, and it does involve breaking laws.

    If a candidate at a local body election knows the name of a donor who donated $15,000 and then signs the donation disclosure which declares that donation to be anonymous, they have committed an offence. It may not be the serious offence involving knowledge, but at the very least it will be the less serious offence involving a failure to take reasonable care.

    The police investigated John Banks for the serious offence of knowingly filing a false return. They felt they could not prove that because he never read the form he signed, and simply relied on the advice of a campaign volunteer that it was accurate. The police did not assess the evidence they found against the less serious offence of failing to take reasonable care to ensure the return was accurate because there is a six month time limit for charges under that section, which had long expired.

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/07/more_on_the_john_banks_donations.html

    And then

    Graeme Edgeler (3,225 comments) says:

    July 29th, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    “Banks did *not* knowingly receive money from anyone. The police said that explicitly. Your statement is in complete contrast to what the police found. Read Graeme’s comment above ~ 11:58am.”

    No.

    The police imply that Banks did know who his campaign had received the money from.

    The police explicitly state that he did not know it was inaccurately recorded in the return (because he did not read the return).

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  54. NK (1,231 comments) says:

    Don’t confuse what the public knows after the announcement with what the players knew as and when it was being formulated. How do you know such wasn’t his primary motive for filing what he filed?

    Maybe, but your original assertion was that he *was* Act leader at the time.

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  55. Reid (16,290 comments) says:

    Maybe, but your original assertion was that he *was* Act leader at the time.

    Yes I was wrong and I apologise and withdraw the assertion, but I think it’s reasonable to suggest Banks believed at the time he filed the return that he still had A political future and was pursuing it, even if he didn’t know the exact specifics of the vehicle which would provide it. If Banks had nothing to gain, why did he ask DC to split the cheque in the first place?

    Do you seriously believe Banks suggested it purely for DC’s benefit lest he had to help him and people knew about it?

    Is that credible?

    There’s quite a difference between legally provable mens rea and common sense assumptions about motivation. We see that difference all the time in political debates, but for some reason people prefer to believe the best about those whose side they prefer. For some reason, notwithstanding said common sense.

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  56. Nostalgia-NZ (5,119 comments) says:

    Nookin are you expecting the Judge could find in Bank’s favour on a defence he hasn’t used? At least not that I know he used, that would be totally unprecedented.

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  57. goldnkiwi (1,280 comments) says:

    @ Reid I would think it was just the opposite. If there was any asking for the amount to be divided between two cheques, it would be so that since there was no way of knowing if money was from any particular donor, that no favours could be asked or granted. I think all donations should be anonymous for that very reason.

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  58. Nostalgia-NZ (5,119 comments) says:

    ‘it would be so that since there was no way of knowing if money was from any particular donor, that no favours could be asked or granted’

    drrh..

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  59. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    So Banks asked a person, who he didn’t know, to divide the amount into two cheques, so he wouldn’t learn the identity of the person he was speaking too and therefore prevent the asking of favours?

    WOW !!

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  60. Paul Marsden (996 comments) says:

    I use to a real fan of Banksie once, but I don’t like my intelligence being insulted. Banksie knew darn well who the donations where from and is attempting to bob and weave his way out of it, by denying all and sundry. I’m surprised the prosecution didn’t argue this point (i.e. his amnesia) more strongly, as there is a plethora of evidence to show the veracity of his claims should be treated with significant caution. eg the helicopter passenger manifest. Banksies defence relied heavy on witnesses attesting to his (once) impeccable character, but things have changed inside of Banksies head, and I feel sorry for the man. Very sad.

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  61. Reid (16,290 comments) says:

    things have changed inside of Banksies head, and I feel sorry for the man

    So do I since it’s a sad and somewhat undeserved end to an otherwise significant career, undeserved because many others who have done significantly worse things have and continue to escape: e.g. Winston.

    However I’m wondering if this isn’t simply a side of the man who’s been there all along. It’s not the only side to him: e.g. that speech he gave about his background in Parliament, but perhaps he needs this in some way, to balance the Karmic equation.

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/01/unconditional-love-education-emotional-brilliant-speech/

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  62. jcuk (668 comments) says:

    TV is the pitts these days but I remember Bolger and his handkerchief [ was it Bolger? the Prime Minister anyway of the time ]

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  63. greenjacket (459 comments) says:

    TV3: “neither fair, nor balanced… gratuitous and tasteless… disingenuous…no news value at all, and no public interest… irresponsible and it reflects no credit on the organisation.”
    .
    Says it all really about TV3.
    .
    And that the TV3 senior management thought they could have on an obviously pissed off judge says a great deal about the arrogance of TV3.

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  64. itstricky (1,800 comments) says:

    I trust then tricky, you’ll have no problem defending DG when lefties once again, bring up his ancient youthful indiscretion which he paid for in spades, yet again?

    Look forward to reading that, when the occasion arises.

    I can only assume you mean DC, not DG. I mean, whenever DG is bought up people here defend him to the mountains and back. But then, in the very same breath, they say “once a criminal, always a criminal” and “you never lose your criminal record” and “doing time is not for rehabilitation, it’s only to pay immediate dues” and many other variations to that effect. All whilst the man himself cries “oh, but it was soooooo long ago…. don’t you ever forget?” Well, no, apparently we don’t ever forget. And that is the vast irony of the situation. So, yes, I also do also look forward to reading those, when the occassions arise.

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  65. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    Tricky, do you not understand the difference between a serious violent crime and a non violent crime. Helen Clark was equally guilty of a non violent crime but she got to hand pick the Commissioner of Police.

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  66. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    bring up his ancient youthful indiscretion which he paid for in spades

    Excusing something as ‘soooooo long ago’ just doesn’t cut it in this example. The fact is, it wasn’t that long ago that the family of the child were made aware of it. It was relatively recently that they underwent the stress and pain of knowing how their child’s name had been used. That knowledge not only upset them, but reawakened the grief involved in losing that young child in the first place.

    I agree with DG. For him it was a long time ago. An act of stupidity and immaturity. None of us were immune to that in our youths – but for the victims of what is frequently referred to as ‘his victimless crime’ the pain will last forever – every time they look at a photo of that child, every time his name is said, the memory of how he was used, also arises. It is the memory of those we have lost that is most cherished.

    DG has done some wonderful work and is dedicated to reducing crime in this country, and that should always be acknowledged. His past unlawful act should not define him – however, it will continue to do that, until he actually accepts the reality of the pain it caused and will continue to cause to people not all that long ago.

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  67. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Chuck Bird (4,477 comments) says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Can you please quote the date of the Court case where Helen Clark was found guilty of a crime?

    I presume you are referring to a painting which Ms Clark signed, albeit wrongfully, however with the best intentions of raising money for charity, and not for personal gain. Something, that when pointed out to her was not right, she humbly apologised, and offered to make recompense.

    Compared to a crime, of which the offender deliberately and calculatedly used another’s name, for personal gain (even if that was only in ‘kudos’) and rather than just a momentary act of signing a document/article, actually went to extreme trouble, with a prolonged period of planning and execution of the crime which included several acts of fraudulent behaviour, including the signing of official documentation.

    There is a very vast difference between the two acts.

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  68. wat dabney (3,725 comments) says:

    Can you please quote the date of the Court case where Helen Clark was found guilty of a crime? I presume you are referring to a painting which Ms Clark signed, albeit wrongfully, however with the best intentions

    So, a crime then.

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  69. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ wat dabney (3,590 comments) says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 8:47 am

    The police didn’t think so, as there was no intent. :-)

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  70. Nookin (3,282 comments) says:

    Judith. Are you sure that you are not being a little precious here?

    Sure, Clark was not convicted. Nor was Garrett. Clark was Prime Minister with a huge responsibility to set an example – not an irresponsible immature larrikin who has since grown up. Clark knew that someone would be disadvantaged and went ahead anyway. Garret’s transgression would never have seen the light of day had he not acknowledged it.

    Generally, the courts do not discharge without conviction unless the offender has a very clear appreciation of the gravity of the offending. I do not recall Clark being at all gracious or apologetic. I recall her being somewhat scathing of her critics. I do not recall any expressions of regret that her political allies destroyed the painting at a time when it was evidence and the matter was under investigation. She trivialised it, in my view.

    You may be able to point me to a link in which may substantiate her remorse in which case I may accept your thesis.

    Garrett’s character will be stained by his indiscretions, but a relentless unforgiving condemnation of Garrett and a superficial downplay of Clark’s transgression is hardly consistent, don’t you think?

    The same applies with Banks. He may be convicted, he may not. One thing for sure is that there will be those who will forever condemn him and define him by this last (probably) chapter in the public life regardless of whether there is a conviction and without regard for anything else he has achieved. Your cynical comments above don’t suggest that you could be among them, do they? I mean, you have already stressed the relevance of being found guilty and that hasn’t happened and may not happen
    .

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  71. deadrightkev (441 comments) says:

    “You should not speculate on things you know something about.”

    Wrong. Anyone can speculate on anything they want.

    Asking for $50,000 to be split into two $25,000 cheques then saying you can’t remember? Yeah right. To try and say otherwise insults the intelligence beyond belief.

    It’s no wonder Act is toxic with that sort of governance and moral compass undermining members. It time for a total clearing of th decks in Act from top to bottom and lets hope Jamie Whyte is the man to do it.

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  72. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Sure, Clark was not convicted. Nor was Garrett.

    Garrett was convicted. He has more than one conviction. Clark was never charged of a crime or convicted.

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  73. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    “Compared to a crime, of which the offender deliberately and calculatedly used another’s name, for personal gain (even if that was only in ‘kudos’)”

    Judith. Are you saying Clark did not do it for kudos and votes? Someone connected with her pair $5,500 to destroy the evidence. I know because I had an offer to pay the seller what he paid for it $1,000.

    Her signing the painting was not a momentary act. Like many crims she started small. She signed a number of sketches first. When sprung by Paul Holmes she said she could not remember if she signed other paintings.

    Clark is a phony like her marriage but the media went soft on that. How many married couple put notes on the fridge Peter owes Helen so much for power and phone. Does anyone one know if she is still pretending to be married.

    If John Key or any other PM got a job in the US immediately after finishing politics and their spouse did not join them but their boyfriend questions would be asked.

    If we had an unbiased media they would be asking has Peter Davis been back in the US since Helen was not longer PM and if not why not?

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  74. wat dabney (3,725 comments) says:

    Judith,

    You yourself have agreed that Clark committed the forgery, so the facts are not in dispute.

    That she was not put on trial changes nothing. She is still guilty of the crime.

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  75. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ wat dabney (3,591 comments) says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 10:08 am

    No, I did not say Clark committed a forgery. I said it was wrong to sign a painting – meaning she did not consider the fact that the act would convey the message to others that she was the artist. I realise the technical term of forgery includes the signing of artwork, but the defining aspect is the attempt to pass it off as the signers original work. She did not do that.

    Clark never lied, she never stated she had painted the work of art – and it was never advertised as being done by Ms Clark,

    There was no demonstrated intent to defraud anyone. The police were happy that it was not a crime – and that as far as I am concerned is the defining point. You may choose to see it otherwise, and that is your right.

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  76. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    Judith, Clark signing the painting on the front at the bottom where an artist normally does. The person who bought it rightfully believed in was painted by her as did other people bought bought sketches signed by her.

    You say the police were happy that there was not a crime. Where is your proof? What was said was that there was a prima facie case but it was not in the public interest to prosecute. The same was said about the case of David Benson- Peep.

    Clark was caustic out lying to get rid of Police Commissioner, Peter Doone and replaced him with someone beholden to her. Don Brash was quite correct in refereeing to her government as corrupt.

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  77. itstricky (1,800 comments) says:

    Tricky, do you not understand the difference between a serious violent crime and a non violent crime.

    Err and how about the rest of his record? And since when did posters on this blog start judging people by “how much of a criminal” they are?

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  78. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    Do you mean in Tonga?

    And since when did posters on this blog start judging people by “how much of a criminal” they are?

    For as long as I have been on this blog. Maybe ten years.

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  79. G152 (303 comments) says:

    OneTrack (2,207 comments) says:

    May 30th, 2014 at 5:41 pm
    judith – “who wouldn’t remember a flight in a helicopter with KDC”

    Nobody is saying that Banks had a helicopter ride WITH DotCom. Just saying.

    One Track: Well, the flight manifest records of the day do.
    ……………………………….
    No such things as flight manifests.
    However
    There are Flight Plans, Aircraft and Air Crew logbooks…

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