No charges for Banks over donations
Thu, 26 Jul 2012 11:43a.m.
By 3 News online staff / NZN
ACT leader John Banks will not be charged by police over allegations of undeclared donations by SkyCity and Kim Dotcom.
Mr Banks faced up to two years in jail if convicted of acting outside electoral laws in his handling of the donations.
He and his then-rival Len Brown both received $15,000 from SkyCity during their campaigns for the Auckland Mayoralty in 2010. Mr Banks put the donation through as anonymous whereas Mr Brown declared the source.
It was later alleged that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom made a donation three times that size to Mr Banks.
Mr Banks listed the alleged donations from Mr Dotcom, totalling at least $50,000, as anonymous.
The Dotcom camp remain adamant Mr Banks knew the donation was from them.
Labour MP Trevor Mallard lodged a complaint, which has now been dismissed by police.
In a written response to Mr Mallard, police say Mr Banks was given an envelope with a $15,000 cheque in it at a meeting with SkyCity - but that it was a volunteer who said the donation was anonymous.
"At that meeting Mayor Banks received a sealed envelope containing a $15,000 cheque written out to 'Team Banksie 2010'.
"This donation was subsequently recorded in the Electoral Return by the Treasurer for Team Banksie as anonymous."
Police say they were "unable to establish that Mr Banks had the necessary knowledge that the donation had been recorded as anonymous in the return before he signed it and submitted it".
Police say there is insufficient evidence to consider a prosecution against Mr Banks. In addition to this, the six-month period during which such charges must be laid had passed when Mr Mallard’s complaint was lodged – 10 months after that period.
With regard to the Dotcom donations, police have established they were “personally solicited” by Mr Banks, but that the donations were recorded in the return by the Team Banksie Treasurer.
Police say they were unable to establish that Mr Banks had known the donation was recorded as anonymous before he signed the return and submitted it.
Mr Banks issued a statement on Thursday afternoon, acknowledging the "very professional and diligent" way police approached the investigation and interacted with him and his campaign team.
"We have always maintained that our 2010 electoral affairs were conducted within the law, and we are glad that these matters can now be put behind us," he said.
He also thanked his lawyer and supporters, and said he would not be commenting further.
3 News / NZN
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6/08/2012 12:29:44 p.m.
This review of donor trusts should be extend to hidden TRUST. JK the PM of NZ has a blind trust with BOA Bank same us NZ foreign debt. conflict of interest? reseach JK past you will find links to corrrupt institutions.
It's Austrian Economics vs Keynesian Economics. let wake up.
27/07/2012 7:14:51 a.m.
In the court of public opinion John Banks is guilty. I doubt that we will see him contesting let alone winning the next elextion for the Epsom seat. So watch John Key shift his interest to the Colin Craigs christian based Connservative Party for support.
26/07/2012 8:20:07 p.m.
Robert M wrote:
It is very difficult to determine what legitimate political purpose banks serves. It could be said he provides an illusion that the talentless could succed to lull the average man and women to continue to work hard at pointless and unproductive jobs which they are unlikely to do well. Remuera seems to have regressed to about the shophistication of Remuera so they will get what they vote for.
26/07/2012 1:39:35 p.m.
He got off on a technicality. That's how people like John Banks survive... forget about ethics, just make sure they smudge their activities sufficiently that they can worm their way out.
26/07/2012 12:44:55 p.m.
As I said at the start, the Police investigation would come to nothing as nothing was actually illegal.Yes Banks could have done better, but with using staff to do the work it put a layer between and removed the responsobility - as the Police found.It was a total waste of police resources to even investigate this politcally driven duck hunt - what we expect from Labour MP's! What will Labour do, but make more of these police resource wasting efforts?If NZ is going to use our justice system as evidence of innocence, then this means Banks is 100% innocent, like the Ewan in the Scott Guy murder, David Bain, even the 4 found guilty of firearms charges but not of terrorism.Its not perfect world, and we may see further tightening of rule for those standing for public office. We have seen lots of increases in disclosure of expenses/perks - eg the Labour MP who had paid for thier hotel porn on the taxpayer, but after it was disclosed re-embursed NZ for it.
26/07/2012 12:24:44 p.m.
Kevin Middleton wrote:
This is the breed of twit being used to run New Zealand in politics,reflects shallow employers & protectionism.
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