When questioned by police about donations to his failed
2010 Auckland mayoralty bid, ACT MP John Banks said he had “no
recollection” of receiving money from SkyCity and “no actual
knowledge” of contributions from Kim Dotcom.
On the fourth day of Banks' trial on a charge of filing a
false electoral return, the High Court at Auckland is hearing
an audio recording of a June 2012 police interview with Banks
at his lawyer's chambers.
When asked about the donations, he said: “SkyCity – no
recollection of receiving the donation. Mega Upload [Mr
Dotcom], no actual knowledge of the donation since before the
Banks is defending a charge of filing a false electoral
return in 2010 where he allegedly knowingly received
political donations from Mr Dotcom and SkyCity that were
recorded as anonymous.
The allegations against relate to two $25,000 donations from
Megastuff Ltd on Mr Dotcom's behalf in June 2010 and $15,000
from SkyCity in May that year.
“We received legal advice back in 2007 about the whole use of
donations. I recall the legal advice was we would set up a
secret trust or we could do it in good faith in the spirit of
the law, which we did and I did every campaign since 2001,”
Banks said that in 2010, he asked hundreds of people for
money and the campaign received about 500 cheques.
When asked about the campaign team's record-keeping, Banks
said he never asked to see any records.
He signed the electoral return on the basis that campaign
treasurer Lance Hutchison had filled it out to the best of
Banks said he did no cross-referencing or checking the
donations against the return as he had confidence in Mr
Banks said the workload of standing for mayor was
“Every morning, every afternoon, every night, every day for
18 months, the work load was mind-bending. I'd never do it
again, especially if I knew I was going to lose –
The trial continues.
- Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ