Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Q&A: John Banks' judicial review

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I believe the evidence is that they are different accounts, possibly of different entities.

    I guess there was a change from this early reporting:

    The man who banked two cheques from German multimillionaire Kim Dotcom to John Banks has described how he deposited $50,000 in Queenstown so the donation would come from “as far away as possible” and would appear to be anonymous.

    The former employee said he was not at the meeting in April 2010 at the Dotcom mansion in Coatesville, northwest of Auckland, when Dotcom offered to donate to Mr Banks’ campaign, but personally wrote two cheques for $25,000 which came out of the account of the Megaupload founder’s company MegaStuff.
    “It was pretty clear I was told to make out two cheques so that it could go through anonymously.”
    He said he was instructed to split the donation by Mr Tempero or another staff member, John Low.
    The former employee said he personally deposited the cheques at a bank in Queenstown, where he was having some time off. “I said, `Look, we’ll just bank them down there, as far away as possible’.”
    Dotcom’s staff knew the cheques had been cleared because Mr Banks called them.

    [edit] I note Campbell Live had a story saying both cheques were from same account on the same day…
    ... and sequential!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I guess there was a change from this early reporting

    I certainly haven't seen the evidence, so my belief could easily be misinformed.

    It is interesting to note that the information you point to not only backs up the claim that Dotcom didn't hand the cheques to Banks personally, but in fact, no-one in the Banks camp at all was handed any such donation.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    ...no-one in the Banks camp at all was handed any such donation.

    That was the Sky City cheque I think...
    But yes, true enough, they would have appeared as two anonymous deposits (I guess) - though the deposit timing might indicate that they were processed one after the other at the same bank - not sure what 'meta data' one gets in bank account statements these days to work back from...

    Maybe it now all hinges on the 'alleged' phone call of thanks - shame Mr Banks memory can't be relied on...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Dotcom’s staff knew the cheques had been cleared because Mr Banks called them

    And that might be the most interesting piece of evidence. Presumably the GCSB will have the call logs.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Even so, and without spending my morning parsing election results, I’d think that area has voted around 50% for right-wing parties in recent elections.

    Even so... I'd like to think the vast majority of potential jurors, whether politically right or left leaning... would attempt to evaluate a case on it's merits (while obviously being subject to foibles and unconscious prejudices)...

    I doubt many people are thinking "I voted Banks, so I'm going to find him not guilty no-matter how convincing the evidence" or indeed " I Voted against Banks, so I'm going to convict no matter how flimsy.... "

    If the case is clear-cut, I have no doubt a jury would find the same as a judge... but if the facts are less clear, or what common sense says is corruption has been proved (or at least strongly suggested as likely) , but it doesn't quite match up with the wording in the statutes... A judge will not let their own personal opinion of Banks influence their finding.... but it may well influence members of the public in a jury who are having trouble deciding?

    And just because you support the right or left, and vote for the candidate standing on that side, does not mean you think that person is a fine upstanding citizen... it's quite common to vote for the arse standing on the ticket you support instead of the arse standing for the other team...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    So, a reserved decision

    Yes, and Stuff is reporting (as predicted), that the decision should be out next week. No-one mentioning an application under s 347 of the Crimes Act, as yet.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    No-one mentioning an application under s 347 of the Crimes Act, as yet.

    Confirmed that no 347 application was argued. If Banks loses the judicial review on the basis that you shouldn't really be able to judicially review a committal decision in these circumstances, that may be the next step.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    an aside…
    Just a reminder of why voting matters…

    Why hasn’t Leunig been given a Nobel Prize for communication?
    His brilliant cartoon The sound of democracy resonates around the actions of Banks et al…

    I’ve just finished reading his delightful and thought provoking The Essential Leunig, cartoons from a winding path (2012) – as they minimally say – “four hundred definitive works spanning five decades”
    Every home should have one!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    ^^^
    I thought this was a thread for discussing the activities of (alleged) fraudulent crims, not a place for fraudulent crims to promote their activities.

    Easy mistake to make.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I look forward to Graeme's analysis of the judgment that Banks will stand trial as he predicted as reported here.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    That makes so much less sense now the spam has been deleted

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    OK, so it's now rather less academic. With Banks convicted, we get to find out the machinations of the process of entering a conviction when there's the possibility of seeking a discharge without conviction.

    Is a DWOC even overly likely? It would, to my eyes, come across as a slightly soggy HOP receipt over the back of one's wrist after such egregious misbehaviour; the sum may be relatively trifling, but the principle of the matter is enormous.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    [Moderator. Please delete my above message, or reinstate some of the spam it refers to. I wasn't meaning to slur Ian]

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    With Banks convicted

    Found guilty, rather. Talk about begging the question!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    It's defeating justice, really.

    Banks isn't, according to those that know, likely to get more than a fine.

    The main consequence of his fraud has always been that he'll lose his seat and there will be a by-election, where Seymour would need to try and get elected in place of an MP expelled for criminality. Even an electorate as venal as Epsom may not comply with that, and it would be hard to turn a by-election defeat into a victory at the subsequent election.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    there will be a by-election

    No, there will not. A general election is due in just over three months. Sentencing is not due, apparently, until 1 August, by which time the House will have risen ahead of the election. Even if he were sentenced now, it is unlikely that more than 25% of Parliament would vote to hold a by-election which would produce an MP who sat for mere days before the current Parliament is dissolved.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    s/will/would

    A by-election would not be redundant. The reason being that a by-election is unlikely to replace a criminal* MP by another of the same party. At a general election, that might subside into the general mush.

    That would be a firm reason for Labour to refuse to support a deferral of the by-election, thus ensuring that ACT criminality remains a foreground issue.

    * As in, "one who has committed a crime"

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    By-elections are expensive for the Electoral Commission to run, and you’re assuming that any of the major parties would want their names tied in the general election to wasting taxpayer money on a petty political stunt; which is all that this would be.
    For your theory to function, other parties would have to campaign. That costs money. With a general election due mere weeks after this notional by-election, nobody is going to bother competing because they’d rather hold aside their funds. Even if, and it’s a massive if, Act were unsuccessful, a National candidate would win because they’re the only other party palatable to Epsom voters. Labour and the Greens sure as hell aren’t winning, even if it were a two-horse race between either of them and Seymour.

    The likely turn of events would be that Act would be the only party to nominate a candidate and the election would be declared accordingly. No money spent, no campaigning, and sure as hell no de facto referendum on Banks’ behaviour.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Isn't it a bit like the OJ Simpson trial, where the criminal trial found him not guilty, but a subsequent civil suit (what private prosecutions are called in the States) found him liable for the victims' deaths?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Not really, because this was an actual criminal trial with the Solicitor General (eventually) acting as the prosecuting authority. Banks faces jail time for this, not just civil damages.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Not really, because this was an actual criminal trial with the Solicitor General (eventually) acting as the prosecuting authority. Banks faces jail time for this, not just civil damages.

    The judge said it would be at least home detention.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Banks isn’t, according to those that know, likely to get more than a fine.

    Apparently not. As per previous comment, the judge said it would be at least home detention.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm sure Key can find another judge, etc..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    it is unlikely that more than 25% of Parliament would vote to hold a by-election

    As Graeme has observed on Twitter, they wouldn't still be sitting to enable a vote. Which would be needed to *not* have a byelection. Oops.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

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