No charges against Banks

The Police have announced:

Police investigating allegations that the Hon knowingly transmitted a false electoral return have decided there is insufficient evidence to consider a prosecution for an offence under section 134(1) of the 2001.

This follows complaints about returns filed relating to donations from Sky City Casino, Mr Kim Dotcom and a radio advertising donation to the 2010 Auckland Super City mayoralty campaign of Mr Banks.

The inquiry has established the return was compiled by a campaign volunteer who assured Mr Banks it was accurate before Mr Banks signed and transmitted the return.

In terms of Section 134 (2) of the Local Electoral Act relating to transmitting a false return there is a statutory limit of six months from the time of elections when complaints must be laid. Police first received the complaint for investigation on 27 April 2012, well after the expiry of six month period. Police are therefore unable to consider charges pursuant to Section 134 (2).

That will be a relief to obviously John Banks, but also the Government.

The Local Electoral Act is quite deeply flawed, and I hope the Government introduces a bill to amend it, to brings its donation transparency requirements in line with the main Electoral Act.

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