21 May 2014

Witnesses accused of making up stories

10:37 pm on 21 May 2014

The lawyer for John Banks has accused internet businessman Kim Dotcom's estranged wife and his former accountant of making up stories in court.

Mona Dotcom.

Mona Dotcom. Photo: AFP

Kim Dotcom.

Kim Dotcom. Photo: AFP

Grant McKavanagh, who ran Mr Dotcom's New Zealand ventures, and Mona Dotcom were giving evidence at the trial of ACT MP John Banks at the High Court in Auckland on Wednesday.

The MP for Epsom is on trial for filing a false electoral return after his failed bid for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010. He denies the charge.

The Crown's case is that John Banks knew of the $50,000 donation from Kim Dotcom and $15,000 from SkyCity, although the return listed them as anonymous. Mr Banks denies asking Mr Dotcom to make the donation anonymous.

Mr McKavanagh told Mr Banks' lawyer David Jones, QC, that he hadn't been coached in his evidence by his former employer.

Mona Dotcom told the court she was at a lunch at the Dotcom mansion in Coatesville near Auckland when her husband offered Mr Banks a $50,000 donation.

Her account contradicts that given by Mr Dotcom, who told the court on Tuesday that his wife had left the lunch before the offer was made.

Mr Jones suggested to Mrs Dotcom she had forgotten the lines her husband had told her to say, but Mrs Dotcom denied this.

On Tuesday, Kim Dotcom said that Mr Banks asked that the donation be split in two, and this was supported by his former security chief Wayne Tempero who told the court on Wednesday that he also heard the request.

"I remember Mr Dotcom saying he was surprised and didn't mind putting his name on the cheque, like letting everybody know it was his money."

Mr Tempero said he remembers the response being it was better to make the donation anonymous so it would be easier to help Mr Dotcom in the future.

In court on Tuesday, Mr Jones said it was Mr Dotcom's idea to split his $50,000 donation into two cheques.