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Key still backs Banks, despite letter

Wednesday 17 Oct 2012 6:06a.m.

Key still backs Banks, despite letter

By 3 News online staff / RadioLIVE / NZN

ACT leader John Banks is again under scrutiny over the Dotcom donation saga.

Police didn't press charges against the Epsom MP after donations to his failed mayoralty campaign from Kim Dotcom were made public.

But, his statements to police -which was crucial evidence - was never released because according to Mr Banks, police wouldn't let him.

Now, a letter from Mr Banks' lawyer shows in fact, he deliberately tried to stop it going public.

Here's Labour MP Grant Robertson:

"Mr Bank is the person who said he has 'nothing to fear, nothing to hide'," says Mr Robertson. "If that's the case he should let his witness statement be released. What we've discovered here is he's gone to great lengths to ensure New Zealanders don't get to see what he told police."

The lawyer's letter says Mr Banks was concerned about what journalists and Opposition MPs might do with the information.

"Mr Banks has previously said it was the police's decision his witness papers were withheld," says Mr Robertson. "What we now see from these papers is he's misled New Zealanders one more time."

Mr Banks' office has declined to comment on the matter.

Prime Minister John Key said he didn't know anything about the letter and still had confidence in Mr Banks.

The MP received a $50,000 donation from internet tycoon Dotcom for his 2010 Auckland mayoralty campaign, which was described in his election return as coming from an anonymous source.

Police investigated and concluded that although Mr Banks asked for the donation there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him for breaching electoral law.

Labour has been trying to get hold of Mr Banks' statement to the police but has so far failed.

3 News / RadioLIVE / NZN

 
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