Crown asked to continue Banks prosecution
The private prosecution of Act Party leader, the Hon John Banks, over his failure to record donations to his mayoralty campaign.has been referred to the Solicitor General, Michael Heron
The private prosecution of Act Party leader, the Hon John Banks, over his failure to record donations to his mayoralty campaign.has been referred to the Solicitor General, Michael Heron, with a request that the Crown consider taking over the prosecution.
One witness who is likely to be called is Internet millionaire Kim Dotcom, who has publicly said "there is no question in my mind that John Banks knew that I had donated $50,000 to his 2010 mayoral campaign."
The Police investigation found that Mr Banks had filed a false election return because the donations were not anonymous,but argued that although local electoral laws were broken they didn't have enough evidence to prosecute.
The Police also found that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Mr Banks knew that the donations were not anonymous . Mr Banks has always insisted he has ''nothing to fear, nothing to hide'' over the donations scandal, despite asking police not to publicly release his statement on the Kim Dotcom donations and opposing publication of the entire file.
Earlier this month at the Wellington District Court, Judge IG Mill found that there was sufficient evidence that the private prosecutor could adduce to establish a prima facie case against the defendant and he said "access to the courts for the purposes of private prosecutions is an important safeguard against the abuses of the executive's prosecutorial discretion ."
The private prosecution was begun by retired Wellington accountant Graham McCready, who said "now the evidential barrier has been overcome and the Court has ordered Mr Banks to appear, its up to the Solicitor General to consider the overwhelming public interest in taking this case to court".