John Banks back in court

Former Auckland mayor and MP John Banks is chasing $190,000 in costs for his wrongful conviction and acquittal for filing a false electoral return.

At a Court of Appeal hearing in Auckland on Wednesday afternoon, a panel of three judges heard Bank’s lawyer argue why a High Court decision not to award his client $190,000 in costs should be overturned.

David Jones QC alleged Banks’ original trial judge, Justice Edwin Wylie, had been “duped” by fabricated evidence given by Kim Dotcom and his team.

“Any reasonable analysis of the evidence leads to only one conclusion, and that is the evidence of the Dotcom witnesses at the trial was wrong,” he said.

“The court can’t possibly sanction a trial which is based on what is later found to be false evidence and say ‘Well, hard luck’.”

Justice Wylie convicted Banks in 2014 of filing a false electoral return by not disclosing two donations of $25,000 from Kim Dotcom. Banks claimed he did not know the donations were from Dotcom.

He was acquitted on appeal in 2015.

In July 2016, Justice Wylie rejected Bank’s application to be awarded costs.

In that decision, Justice Wylie said Banks must “bear some responsibility” for failing to call witnesses who later proved his innocence.

All this because John Banks refused to organise Kim Dotcom a softer mattress. ?It destroyed his political career and set him back the blunt end of half a million in costs. ?Mr Dotcom in the meantime is enjoying his engagement and the nice lifestyle and weather that New Zealand offers without any repercussions for having contributed to Banks’s reputational and financial downfall.