8 Apr 2014

Banks loses bid to dismiss case

8:54 am on 8 April 2014

A judge at the High Court in Auckland has rejected an application from ACT Party MP John Banks to dismiss a charge against him of making a false electoral return.

John Banks.

John Banks. Photo: RNZ

The Associate Education Minister is to be tried on a charge of making a false return following his failed campaign for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010.

In a ruling released on Monday afternoon, Justice Wylie said there was sufficient evidence to find that Mr Banks knew his return was false.

The judge said the outcome of the defended hearing would depend on how the court assessed the reliability and credibility of the key witnesses.

Justice Wylie ruled that a full trial should be held to assess the available evidence. It will take place at the High Court in Auckland in May.

Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis says the crucial aspect the Crown will have to prove is whether Mr Banks knew the return was false.

Professor Geddis also says the decision originally by police not to lay charges was questionable. He says since then, three courts have found the case should go to trial.