John Banks – A Tale of Two Cheques

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John banks - kim dotcom - false electoral return - conviction - 2010 local body election - cheques to dotcom

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On Radio NZ’s Morning Report, on 20 May, John Banks admitted to Guyon Espiner that he had requested a donation from Kim Dotcom for his mayoral campaign in the 2010 local body elections;

@ 4:42 –

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Espiner: “You got five donations of $25,000, all were

recorded as anonymous. How did Kim Dotcom know to

split his donation into two lots of twentyfive thousand

dollars?

Banks fudged the question and repeated that he had  been exonerated under the Electoral Act.

With constant probing and deft dismissal of Banks’ obfuscation, Espiner persisted until he got a truthful response from Banks;

@ 5:56

Espiner: “Did you ask Kim Dotcom for money?

Banks: “Yes. And that is the evidence. You should have

a look at the evidence.”

So three questions remain;

  1. Why did Kim Dotcom split his $50,000 donation into two lots of $25,000?
  2. Why was Kim Dotcom’s two donations recorded as “anonymous”, when the name “Megastuff” was clearly imprinted on his cheques?
  3. Who were the other three $25,000 anonymous cheques from? Were they all from one donor, splitting his/her $75,000 donation into three lots to avoid requirements to name benefactors?

Plus, there are other matters of Banks “forgetting” that he had met Kim Dotcom; forgetting that he had asked for a donation; forgetting taking a helicopter ride to his Coatesville mansion, etc.

Banks referred several times that the Court of Appeal had vindicated him and his wife;

I have been completely exonerated.” (@ 2:05)

No such thing has occurred. His case was dismissed on a technicality. The evidence – including any new evidence – was never put before a jury to determine.

I submit to the reader that judicial “vindication” by technicality is no vindication at all.

Banks’ claim to innocence should be regarded as a mere “technicality”, at best.

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References

Radio NZ: Morning Report – Banks calls for Solicitor-General to stand aside (alt. link) (audio)

NZ Herald: Dotcom’s secret donation to Banks

NZ Herald: Banks’ donations – ‘I know nothing’

NZ Herald: Banks scandal – Lost in the memory banks

Other blogs

No Right Turn: Acquitted

Pundit: If you want people to believe you are honest, then it’s best not to file false donation returns

The Standard: John Banks; Conviction Quashed

Previous related blogposts

John Banks – escaping justice

John Banks: condition deteriorating

John Banks – escaping justice (Part Rua)

John Banks – escaping justice (Part Toru)

From the Pot-Kettle-Black files: John Banks (1997)

John Banks, ACT, and miscellaneous laws

Graham McCready to John Banks – an Open Letter

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33 COMMENTS

  1. I heard the interview and Banks was slipping and sliding around Espiner’s questions! His behaviour made me think he’s not playing with a full deck of cards!

    The two cheques from Megastuff Limited, written out to “Team Banksie”, are the main facts of this issue, something which cannot be ignored.

    I’d like to see others who were approached for donations by Banks and asked to split the amounts to come out now, opening a can of worms again. In such an event and I’m no legal expert, perhaps a new case for Banks to answer just might emerge.

    Banks’ continued too loud exclamations of innocence and exoneration etc, only point more to his guilt.

    Banks is an arrogant cheat, liar and fraudster.

  2. I saw his proclamation of innocence – all I saw were crocodile tears.
    As I heard the violins my heart bled for him…
    but then I forgot I cared.

  3. Banks is technically innocent in the same way Bill English is technically vaguely competent at running economies. The evidence against both is damning.

  4. “Banks is an arrogant cheat, liar and fraudster.”

    Just like his name sake as today on BBC, five Global Banks have been found guilty of conducting false transactions known as Forex trading after the 2007 banking crisis by manipulating foreign currency trading.

    So Banks was doing the same thing as the five global banks were doing, as misrepresenting the facts?

    Goggle; – Five Banks To Plead Guilty To Global Currency … – NBC News

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/markets/five-banks-plead-guilty-global-currency-manipulation-n361921

    Authorities fined five of the world’s largest banks, including JPMorgan … Financial Services, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the … States on charges that he illegally contributed to the 2010 Wall Street “flash … London, has been charged by the U.S. Justice Department with wire fraud.

    Was Banks and Key involved here also?
    Wouldn’t be surprised at all.

    • @ CLEANGREEN – I heard this piece on the radio this morning and my old cynical first thoughts flew directly to the two Johns, Banks and Key.

      The criminal activities of the recently discredited global Forex banks give me reason to consider the point – is our very own former currency dealer PM still using the same operandi modus in NZ?

      • Most likely under some shady cloak Mary.

        These rogues must be stamped out now.

        They are just leaches, who don’t produce anything to the economy but just destabilise the economy and promote speculation.

        Key is a gambler and loves the chase as he showed time and time again.

  5. Great post…spells it out!….and Guyon Espiner was very good on Morning Report!

    Banks is SO lacking in integrity and living in la la land he thinks he can fool everyone…he can not see through his own crap smokescreen and PR …which has become his truth…he is a walking spinner…and he is quite clearly corrupt imo

  6. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Kim Dotcom must still be wondering what the hell he was thinking when he offered Banks money, paid it and then gets treated like a lepper. That’s what friendship is all about on the extreme right, Kim, It is based on how much money you have.

    • Which version? One lunch or two? Were the Americans there or not? I am struggling to believe anyone in this whole sordid affair. It seems to me Banks was willing to accept money from DotCom, and Dotcom believed Banks owed him as a result. They both deserve each other.

  7. Hosking was ‘thrilled for JB’ and claimed justice had been done. Pffff. Whatever…..
    And so it comes to pass,it seems, that b***s*** talks and ‘Justice’ walks. It’s sad. So far as I can see it’s still a smoking bonfire – and I for one would like to see it ignite – to see the flames of truth burn brightly. To see the lies and hypocrisy incinerated.

  8. A solid analysis, Frank, although your comment that “His case was dismissed on a technicality” is not strictly correct. The Court’s judgement said “we direct that a verdict of acquittal be entered”. Key Crown witnesses are found to have lied. The Crown withheld vital information. These are not ‘technicalities’. This was a most unsafe conviction, and regrettably there are a few like this hanging around.

  9. The case was dismissed under an error in process: when that does that equate to exoneration and does it leave the way open for another prosecution?

    • The case was not just dismissed, the Court reused to even order a re-trial, and used the word ‘acquittal’ in it’s findings. This is not an error of process, it is acknowledgement that Crown witnesses statements under oath are unreliable, given other evidence now to hand.

      • Unfortunatley, Dave, your assertions are just that; assertions. They have not been tested in Court before a jury, to find out the truth. Having three (or however many) judges making that decision, without testing all the available evidence, is not reassuring. A sceptic might even say that the decision was dodgy.

        Much like Banks.

        Speaking of which, I notice you haven’t addressed any of the questions I raised?

        • Whatever you have to say John Banks has been a great public servant both in Auckland and natonally. He has paid an enormous price thanks to McCready and in my view Kim Dotcom has added nothing to NZ.

        • Hi Frank…see my comment above…I agree with most of your points about Banks. As far as the judges are concerned, they have weighed the evidence and this time ALL the evidence, and found no case to answer. Given that this is the Court of Appeal, I suggest that carries more weight than a jury. I repeat, this entire episode reflects badly on all concerned, with a senior politician appearing to have fudged returns, and another very public individual and his wife having been found to have been economical with the truth under oath.

        • Here here. He is a willing participant in the degradation of our countries mate-ship (as the Aussies would say).
          He has told someone he will go into bat for them and then reneged on the deal, even after they gave him semi anonymous bribes.
          A true charlatan.

  10. Wasn’t there an radio interview where John Banks was asked about his relationship with Kim Dotcom and he spent the interview trying to pretend the interviewer was implying they had a romantic relationship?

    My memory isn’t the best but I remember the absurdity of what Banks was trying to do. He should have been reduced to a laughing stock at that point and never seen again.

    • That’s right Aaron, it’s called diversion and is a common tactic of a liar, (most politicians in general). He was trying to get people talking about that, instead of what he did.

  11. banks is trying the “blame the foreigner rich guy” maneuver, wonder if he has the same media adviser as key?.
    lie big, make the lies short snd emotive, if required, retract the lie quietly, by then the lie will have a life of its own

  12. Banks should be retried. There’s too much evidence against him proving he knew full well what he did was fraudulent.

    • Typo there I think – retired – yes, Banks has nothing left to offer NZ politics except perhaps an apology we’ll never get.

  13. Love the cartoon – says it all .

    The guy is a lying chump. And just yet another example of how these characters weasel their way out of justice in this country.

    The whole affair is a disgrace , Banks was caught out and should have been made to accept the original court decision.

    But when you have a PM that is guilty of workplace harassment and common assault and is fobbed off because of who he is….

    That tells you a lot about the sort of banana republic we have been sliding into.

    Just another one of El Presidente ‘s men.

  14. Devious and slippery are attributes that come to mind where John Banks is concerned. Two cheques, helicopter rides and no memory! Is this the type of candidate we want to see again contesting Auckland Mayoralty. Maybe he has consumed too much product from his earlier and very dubious B-Pollen company that he was earlier involved in. Just as B-Pollen is some form of money-making hocus pokus John Banks will have us believe he is honorable and absolved of all duplicity in his dealings with Kim Dotcom and his campaign to represent the people of Auckland in his tilt at Mayoralty. Afraid not in my books, he is someone who deserves the “home detention” and lack of sympathy that his dealings have brought him

  15. Frank is absolutely correct.
    Bank’s was a self promoting snake oil salesman whose record is that of a poor Mayor, a poorer MP.
    Hopefully the media will give little more time to this person who may have avoided conviction but has been found wanting in the court of public opinion.
    PS: please contact if you want to pop around for dinner where we will not discuss multiple anonymous donations of $25,000.

  16. Yep, it’s pretty stupid.

    Either he lied to the public, or he perjured himself in the courtroom, neither of which would make him electable ever again. Mind you, that doesn’t seem to stop John Key, so…

    Anyway, Frank, correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that (at the time) the limit for anonymous donations was $10,000, and not $25,000. Am I mistaken?

    Either way, he can’t claim he didn’t know where the donations were from, and furthermore, he can’t claim to have asked for his donation then say “I can’t recall” later.

    If you’re correct in saying that new evidence wasn’t presented at the time of the appeal hearing, then what exactly was the technicality in question, and why is it that it came out now, and not at the time of the trial?

    Something smells REALLY bad.

Comments are closed.