John Banks guilty as sin | The Jackal

13 Sep 2012

John Banks guilty as sin

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

John Banks' mayoral campaign team drew up a list of 10 rich donors to target for $25,000 each, new police documents show.

And Mr Banks asked mutli-millionaire Kim Dotcom for two payments of that exact amount so that he would not have to declare where they came from, the internet tycoon told police.

[...]

No charges were laid against Mr Banks. Police found that although he had filed a false election return, he hadn't done so deliberately, because he had signed it without reading it.

Mr Banks' electoral return for the 2010 election shows five anonymous payments of $25,000.

So old Banksie knew all along what was in the statement and didn't need to actually read it to know he was breaking the law. Therefore he should have been charged appropriately.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, with the Local Electoral Act 2001 (PDF) stating:

134 False return

(1)Every candidate commits an offence who transmits a return of electoral expenses knowing that it is false in any material particular, and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding $10,000.
(2)Every candidate commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 who transmits a return of electoral expenses that is false in any material particular unless the candidate proves—
(a)that he or she had no intention to mis-state or conceal the facts; and
(b)that he or she took all reasonable steps to ensure that the information was accurate.

John Bank's needs to prove that he didn't intend to mis-state or conceal the facts... Merely saying he didn't mean to when everybody knows that's a lie isn't good enough. As we have learnt, his word is worthless!

The onus is on him to prove his innocence in this matter. Clearly he failed to take any reasonable steps to ensure the information was correct, in fact he apparently didn't even bother to read it. No matter, he already knew it contained false information because he had arranged the split donations personally.

Not only is this a flagrant abuse of the law by the contemptible John Banks, it's a travesty of justice because he's not being held to account for his crimes. If John Key fails to act, the "higher ethical standards" he talked about effectively mean nothing, and both National and Act will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have no ethical standards at all.