The American witnesses

August 2nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

What is labelling compelling new evidence for an appeal against his criminal conviction is believed to be sworn statements from two Americans whose presence at the critical donation lunch was a key issue at his trial. …

Justice Edwin Wylie had found him guilty of filing the return without recording the origin of two $25,000 donations from entrepreneur , who is facing extradition to the United States.

His judgment hinged on the credibility of witnesses’ evidence, telling the court he did not accept evidence from Banks or his wife, Amanda.

Outside the High Court at Auckland yesterday, Banks said: “Since the finding of guilt, fresh, new, unimpeachable, watertight evidence has emerged. That new evidence completely contradicts much of the evidence given in the court.

“We’re looking forward to taking that … to the Court of Appeal.”

The Weekend Herald has learned details of the evidence that will be put before the Court of Appeal in a bid to have Banks’ conviction overturned.

Evidence was given by the Dotcom camp, saying there were American guests on the grounds of the mansion on the day of the lunch but Mr Dotcom, estranged wife Mona and security chief Wayne Tempero said they were not at lunch when the donations were discussed.

The claims were contradicted by Banks in his police interview and Mrs Banks from the witness box. Both insisted there were two others at the lunch – businessmen Mrs Banks believed were Americans. Banks was unsure of their nationality.

Justice Wylie, who also took other evidence into account, said he believed the Dotcoms and did not accept the Banks’ statements.

He also said it was “largely peripheral” because “the key issue was what was said at the lunch”.

In the wake of the judgment, it is understood Banks launched a search for the American guests.

They were eventually tracked to a company in the United States which was a supplier for Mr Dotcom’s defunct website Megaupload, which was brought down in the copyright raid that led to his arrest and possible extradition.

Banks’ team was believed to have sought statements from them.

The new evidence claim was unusually raised by David Jones, QC, in his sentencing submissions to Justice Wylie yesterday. Mr Jones did not return calls but is understood to be filing the appeal papers next week.

Mr Dotcom said last night: “From my recollection, there was no one else at the lunch where the donations were discussed.”

It will be utterly fascinating to learn what these two witnesses have to say.

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31 Responses to “The American witnesses”

  1. Souvlaki (45 comments) says:

    The best case scenario, in my opinion at least,would be the fat arse is jailed here for perjury, pending extraditon for copyright theft :-)

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  2. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Would have been nice to have this testimony about 6 months ago, unfortunately it comes too late to do Banks much good, expect perhaps with his legacy. He will have a burning desire to clear his name, and all power to him to do just that.

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  3. budgieboy (113 comments) says:

    PERJURY???

    No way, couldn’t happen could it???

    And here’s me thinking Kimmy was such a straight up guy.

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  4. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Since when do cops get done for perjury?

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  5. Nookin (3,460 comments) says:

    Jackinabox

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/9830843/Victim-of-perjury-stoked-by-report

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  6. thePeoplesFlag (256 comments) says:

    Oh please, Banks is a joke, h should just stop the grotesque freak show he is part of and quietly retire.

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  7. radvad (772 comments) says:

    “From my recollection….”
    Anyone else think this is the beginning of a back pedal from Dotcom?

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  8. ShawnLH (5,688 comments) says:

    ” Banks is a joke, h should just stop the grotesque freak show he is part of”

    He’s not. Banks is not part of the Labour/Green/Mana/Dotcon freak show.

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  9. radvad (772 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag (183 comments) says:
    August 2nd, 2014 at 10:45 am
    Oh please, Banks is a joke, h should just stop the grotesque freak show he is part of and quietly retire.

    Vote: 0 0

    So you think Banks should not exercise his legal rights? A post like that only indicates you are worried he might actually clear his name and we cannot have that can we?
    Typical lefty. A possibly innocent man should not take steps to try to clear his name because it does not suit my ideology. Disgusting.

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  10. Tarquin North (354 comments) says:

    Could be yet another nail in a very large kraut coffin.

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  11. Keeping Stock (10,409 comments) says:

    I won’t link to it, but I posted a tweet from Grant Robertson yesterday in which he seemed to be suggesting that Banks had no right to appeal because the court of public opinion had convicted him.

    We know about Andrew Little’s plan to reverse the burden of proof on consent in rape cases. Is Mr Robertson also proposing a fundamental change to the criminal justice system?

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  12. Nookin (3,460 comments) says:

    radvad

    ThePeoplesFlag and his ilk have a very selective view of the administration of justice. Not surprisingly, I have yet to see any protestations from him about the millions of dollars being poured into dotcom’s unrelenting effort to avoid being called to account for what is, essentially, theft.

    Dotcom is clearly motivated by greed, money, butt preservation and a perpetual quest for self aggrandisement. For the time being, however, he suits the political purposes of thepeoplesflag and, accordingly, there is no suggestion of protest.

    Whatever you think of Banks’s policies and politics, he has for many years devoted himself to public service and finishes his career with a very significant blemish which he feels is unjustified. One of the beauties of this country is that if you feel that there is an injustice, the courts are readily available. If Banks wants to go there, he has every right. Of course, his opponents have every right to criticise him for exercising those rights but in doing so they disclose themselves to be petty, small minded bigots and, in the case of some members of the Labour Party, hypocrites to the point of dishonesty.

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  13. burt (8,309 comments) says:

    So what I don’t understand is how it makes much difference to the case. Banks seems to have done what politicians always do and been economic naming the parties donating to him. Rules written, and also flouted, by Labour seem to have tripped him up in this instance. Either he knew the donations were from Dotcom and were split to hide them or he doesn’t. Why do a couple of other blokes at the table make a difference other than it proves some of what Dotcom said may have been inaccurate ?

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  14. m@tt (631 comments) says:

    Banks needs to learn when it’s a good idea to fold.

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  15. DJP6-25 (1,389 comments) says:

    I hope he wins on appeal.

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  16. m@tt (631 comments) says:

    He won’t win the appeal. He won’t even come close. He’ll just drag it through the media again and reinforce the fact that he is guilty. He’s doing himself and those that support him no favours and he is going to increase KDC’s credibility in the minds of those that only taking passing interest in him, e.g. most of the population. That’s not a good thing.

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  17. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,915 comments) says:

    “Justice Wylie, who also took other evidence into account, said he believed the Dotcoms and did not accept the Banks’ statements.”

    How strange.

    Yet another dud judge.

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  18. ShawnLH (5,688 comments) says:

    “I posted a tweet from Grant Robertson yesterday in which he seemed to be suggesting that Banks had no right to appeal because the court of public opinion had convicted him.

    We know about Andrew Little’s plan to reverse the burden of proof on consent in rape cases.”

    Remember this the next time, likely today, that someone on KB claims there is no difference between Labour and National.

    And if Robertson and Little ever get into power. fear for yourself. They are dangerous nutjobs who think the law exists to promote Labour party ideology.

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  19. Nookin (3,460 comments) says:

    m@tt

    You’ve seen the new evidence, then? Can you detail it for us?

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  20. freedom101 (509 comments) says:

    Banks has a lot riding on this appeal, not least whether he gets to keep all his ex-parliamentary perks such as air travel. If he is convicted he loses the lot, for life.

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  21. Ross Miller (1,706 comments) says:

    freedom101 … are you very sure about that. Authenticate pse.

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  22. Dexter (306 comments) says:

    The as much as I don’t trust Dotcom at all, the fact that the Judge believed him over Banks speaks volumes for how credible his version of events was. Unless Banks also sprouted feathers and there was a sandpit near by it’s hard to accept any other conclusion when you look at the totality of what you have to believe to accept his version of events.

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  23. flipper (4,198 comments) says:

    Well now, isn’t it interesting that Dotslob and his “go to” tame journo, Fisher, have gone on a Herald fishing expedition in relation to the grounds upon which Jones QC will appeal the Banks case?

    I say “fishing” because at no time (or nowhere) have either Banks or Jones indicated the likely nature of the new evidence that is to be presented to the CoA.

    This CoA situation was foreshadowed the moment that Jones told Wylie. J yesterday that he would not be seeking a discharge, and that new, compelling, evidence had since come to light – evidence that would be presented to the CoA.
    Fisher, most likely acting as a surrogate for Dotslob, says: “The new evidence claim was unusually raised by David Jones, QC, in his sentencing submissions to Justice Wylie yesterday….”

    Garbage. The only thing unusual (but not, in the circumstances unexpected) about the continuation of the Herald’s “smear Banks” exercise this morning, is that it seeks to aggrandize, yet again, Dotslob, McCreadie and Fisher – the latter continuing an extraordinary an exercise of self-aggrandizement. Fisher then proceeds to argue that any new evidence would be irrelevant in the CoA because it would not strike down Wylie’s finding against J Banks.

    But the matter is not quite that simple, or so I am told by some with considerable expertise in such matters, and those who have some indication as to the direction likely to be followed by Jones. Wylie did reach a conclusion that is specific, and difficult to reverse. Wylie’s conclusion was clearly built on a foundation/structure of “evidence” given by Dotslob and others. Crucial to his decision was his finding that Mr and Mrs Dotslob were more credible witnesses than Mr and Mrs Banks. So the tactic might be that if the building blocks Wylie relied upon are demolished, so is his finding. That ill be for Jones to argue, and the Crown to (knee jerk :-) ) oppose.

    So what will the new evidence comprise?

    I have no idea, and I believe Dotslob and Fisher are fishing.

    That said, I doubt that Jones/Banks would go to the CoA with an appeal based solely on two “flaky” Americans – which is the picture Dotslob and Fisher, are attempting to paint even before the appeal is lodged. Silly people.

    En passant, and in conclusion, did anyone hear the outcome of the Herald’s contempt case? Or is it set down for hearing on another day?

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  24. anticorruptionnz (215 comments) says:

    How do other witnesses impact on the fact that the donation was split into two and recorded as being anonymous ?

    I cant see why any of us should be honest we should all hide behind others and claim innocence ‘

    Corruption is rife in New Zealand , its been 6 month and the police still have not finished their investigation into the 3/4 million Brown got from the unidentifiable New Auckland council trust.

    every one seems to have forgotten the fact that Banks also signed off the Huljich prospectus .

    People need to be careful as to what they sign. In the end if you sign something off then you take the responsibility .

    Grace Haden Epsom Independent candidate http://www.anticorruption.co.nz

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  25. ShawnLH (5,688 comments) says:

    “Corruption is rife in New Zealand”

    Yes. I know one person who thinks she’s above the rest of us and does not pay the rates every other property owner has to.

    Will you be doing anything about that bit of corruption?

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  26. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    You’re lying Shawn.

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  27. anticorruptionnz (215 comments) says:

    ShawnLH

    That is not corruption this is an issue between that person and council it is open transparent and I believe it is being addressed. It has nothing to do with me

    I am concerned however that the courts are being used as an abuse of process and to pervert the course of justice .

    Lawyers are not properly accountable to the rule of law and companies are set up fictitiously and no one cares a dam

    take for example the Chinese company purchasing the Lochinver Station . I am about to update http://www.Anticorruption.co.nz and wil reveal something you may find interesting.

    If you condone it hen you get the country you deserve . I should have the post up later today.

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  28. goldnkiwi (1,517 comments) says:

    So what if it could be proven that there was no conversation regarding ‘splitting’ any potential donation, I for one would be interested in any and all further disclosures.

    How mortifying to have it said that Dotcom et al are more credible witnesses than Banks, heaven and earth should be moved to make a lie of that statement of record.

    It is good that the Sky donation was not considered an issue, in the judgment, I imagine that makes an appeal simpler based on credibility of Dotcom.

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  29. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (894 comments) says:

    My sources say the witnesses confirmed what the lunch menu was….Banks is history now…movin on fellows…

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  30. goldnkiwi (1,517 comments) says:

    Perhaps Dotcom (.com) more diminutive, would like to travel to the US to visit his ‘colleagues’?

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  31. Nostalgia-NZ (5,276 comments) says:

    Not that 2 witnesses at the meeting at the DC mansion might have, if they exist, some information to add to that particular day – they would not however, be able to explain later what did or didn’t happen regarding the exchange between JB and his campaign manager when the form was prepared for submission – the Court can only rely on the information contained in that report that ‘Banks didn’t know’ he received 2 donations from DC, and presumably that donations weren’t discussed, or even paid over anonymously by the way of 2 cheques.

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