8 May 2013

Banks to defend electoral fraud allegations

10:31 pm on 8 May 2013

ACT party leader John Banks says he has nothing to fear from allegations that he committed electoral fraud.

The Epsom MP is being privately prosecuted over $65,000 worth of anonymous donations he received during his Auckland mayoralty campaign in 2010.

John Banks.

John Banks. Photo: RNZ

Retired Wellington accountant Graham McCready has taken a private prosecution case against Mr Banks, alleging that the MP knew that $50,000 worth of donations were from internet entrepreneur im Dotcom and a further $15,000 was from SkyCity Casino.

Mr McCready says Mr Banks declared them anonymous and filed a false return.

In 2012, police said they would not lay charges due to insufficient evidence.

On Wednesday, John Banks appeared briefly at the Auckland District Court where his lawyer David Jones, QC, told the judge the prosecution is fundamentally flawed and his client would be defending the charge.

Mr Jones also argued that there should be no photographs taken of Mr Banks in the dock, saying they would be utilised improperly by certain factions. The judge rejected the request.

Outside court, Mr Banks said he is not worried. "I've been summonsed to appear here today, I'll defend the charge because I haven't committed any offence."

Mr Banks said while the matter is before the court, he has nothing more to add.