Banks not off the hook | The Jackal

11 Nov 2012

Banks not off the hook

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

John Banks may have to give evidence under oath about his involvement in the Kim Dotcom election donation saga.

The Act MP has been summoned to appear in court next month after a judge found there could be enough evidence to allow a private prosecution over allegations he filed a false electoral return for his 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign.

Police investigated whether Banks knowingly declared two donations from internet tycoon Kim Doctom as anonymous, and found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

But Banks may still have a case to answer after retired accountant and political activist Graham McCready brought a rare private prosecution against him.

Good! Anybody who's kept abreast of the John Banks debacle, unless they have a vested interest, thinks the Act party leader is guilty of submitting a false return, and should be accountable and stand trial for his crime. He clearly signed a doctored declaration, and the excuse that he wasn't aware that it was false because he didn't bother to read it doesn't hold water.

It also seems that the police made their decision to not charge Banks for reasons as yet undisclosed. The excuses they did make however were incorrect under the law. Considering that losing Banks would mean National would no longer have a slim majority in the house to push through their controversial legislation, it would stand to reason that some pressure was placed on the police to make the wrong decision.

The judiciary is less likely to be influenced in a similar way, and therefore I'm hopeful that John Banks will have a fair and unbiased trial, which will eventuate in a guilty verdict for a corrupt practice. A prosecution and conviction for such an offense would undoubtedly mean an end to Banks' political career, and force a by-election in Epsom.

Why this story is buried on page 10 is beyond me? In my opinion, articles about the potential downfall of the Act party, which could have a significant impact on the National government's ability to govern, should be front and centre. I guess stories about a rugby player's girlfriend singing the national anthem, Coro St celebrities and people sharing the same birth date as Prince Charles are far more important. Talk about trivial!

Banks brushed off the private prosecution. 
"This is nothing more than an attention-seeking stunt. It's a waste of court time and taxpayers' dollars."

In fact it's a private citizen who has the time and means to ensure justice is done. If Banks loses, he will likely be made to pay costs. Therefore there will be little expense for the taxpayer. The attention McCready is gaining seems rather light to me in comparison to the brevity of the issue... So that's a fail by the discredited and corrupt John Banks on all counts.