John Banks to face a retrial for his corrupt filing of a false electoral return…

John Banks leaves the Auckland High Court. Photo / Richard Robinson
John Banks leaves the Auckland High Court. Photo / Richard Robinson

Former Act Party leader John Banks will face a retrial for filing a false electoral return, Solicitor-General Mike Heron, QC, has confirmed.

Mr Banks was convicted in the High Court last year after not disclosing donations from internet mogul Kim Dotcom to his Auckland mayoralty campaign in 2010.

Last November the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial.

But the decision had to be confirmed by the Solicitor-General. Last night, a Crown Law spokeswoman said Mr Heron had made that decision.

No date has been set. The issue will go to the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday.

Neither Mr Banks or his lawyer, David Jones, QC, could be reached for comment last night.

Mr Banks appealed against his conviction, introducing affidavits from two US-based businessmen who he said were at the same lunch at which Mr Dotcom claimed donations were discussed.

The men, David Schaeffer and Jeffery Karnes, said donations were not discussed at that lunch.

The Court of Appeal said it was satisfied that if the evidence had been before [High Court judge] Justice Wylie the outcome might have been different, and it was in the interests of justice to admit it.

Amanda Banks, who now lives apart from her husband, was at the lunch and was a key witness in the High Court hearing. The Court of Appeal’s decision noted Mrs Banks “was stung by the judge’s opinion of her reliability. She became quite obsessed, as she puts it, with identifying the two Americans.”

Allegations, rebuttals
2010: Kim Dotcom makes donations to Banks’ mayoral campaign.
Mid-2014: Banks convicted in High Court of knowingly filing a false electoral return.
Late 2014: Conviction overturned.
Yesterday: Retrial ordered.

Acknowledgements:    NZ Herald

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