Banks gets an urgent hearing

Stuff reports:

The Court of Appeal has ordered an urgent hearing after new evidence has emerged  in the John Banks donations case.

The court has ordered the hearing before the end of the month to decide if Banks should face a retrial over his declaration concerning donations from internet mogul Kim Dotcom to his failed 2010 mayoral campaign. 

The new evidence is that a Crown lawyer interviewed Dotcom before Banks’ appeal was heard last year, the interview raised questions about the date of the lunch at the centre of the allegations, and that information was not passed to Banks legal team.

Not disclosing relevant information to the defence is a big no no.

While the Court has yet to hear the substantive case, the fact they have agreed to an urgent hearing suggests there is some merit to the recall application.

Banks’ lawyer David Jones, QC, filed an application to the Court of Appeal saying he had received fresh material from the Crown about the contentious lunch at Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion in rural West Auckland.

The application says that before the Court of Appeal hearing last year, a lawyer acting on instructions of the Crown, had interviewed Kim Dotcom about the affidavits from the US businessmen.provided by Amanda Banks. But a memo about that interview was not disclosed to Banks’ legal team.

The memo raised new issues about when the lunch actually took place.- June 5 or June 9 – and whether there was one lunch or two, and if there were two, who was present at each lunch.

According to the Banks team, the memo fundamentally changes the Crown case. 

The outcome of the hearing will be most interesting. If Banks wins, then there will be significant scrutiny around the actions of Crown Law.

If Banks does not get the retrial scrapped, then there will of course be a new trial. But the Crown case will have to decide how weight to be given to the ever changing evidence from Dotcom.

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