22 May 2014

MP told Dotcom donation could be anonymous

10:01 pm on 22 May 2014

A police interview with John Banks has revealed he told Kim Dotcom that his donation to a failed mayoral bid could be anonymous.

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

John Banks.

John Banks. Photo: RNZ

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

On Thursday, the 2012 interview with Mr Banks was played in the Auckland High Court during which he said to detectives he told the internet businessman he could make his donation anonymous.

Mr Banks said he gave Mr Dotcom's security chief a bank deposit slip. He also confirmed he would have called Mr Dotcom and thanked him for his support, despite not knowing whether the cheques were cleared.

In the interview, Mr Banks said he did not read the electoral return before signing it because he trusted his campaign treasurer who had worked on four campaigns with him.

He also said he got legal advice in 2007 that he could fund his mayoralty race through a secret trust or do it in the spirit of the law. He said he chose to be open and transparent.

Mr Banks said he met Kim Dotcom at his Coatesville mansion, near Auckland, and described seeing six chefs and a gold fish tank the size of a room. He said Mr Dotcom talked about playing video games for four days and five nights.

Mr Banks confirmed he had asked Mr Dotcom for money and described the entrepreneur as being on another planet.