14 Jul 2016

Banks' $190,000 legal costs claim dismissed

6:33 pm on 14 July 2016

Former ACT Party leader John Banks has had his application for $190,000 in legal costs dismissed by the High Court.

John Banks addresing the media after the Court of Appeal cancelled an order he should be retried on a charge relating to election expenses

Former ACT Party leader and Auckland mayor John Banks Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Banks - also a former police minister and Auckland mayor - was convicted for failing to declare two $25,000 donations from internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom during his failed mayoralty campaign in 2010.

He appealed against that conviction after his wife found evidence proving two American businessmen had attended the lunch at Mr Dotcom's mansion in which Mr Dotcom had told the court the donations were discussed.

Read the judgement here

The businessmen's evidence was that no donations were talked about.

The Court of Appeal last year acquitted Mr Banks and cancelled its order for a retrial.

Mr Banks then applied to the High Court in Auckland for the costs to defend the charges.

His lawyer, David Jones QC, said Mr Dotcom's evidence at trial had been shown to be fabricated.

The evidence had tainted every decision in the case, including the one that found Mr Banks guilty, he said.

In his judgement, Justice Wylie said that bald assertion could not be made but, rather, Mr Dotcom's evidence was not consistent with that of the American businessmen.

The judge found Mr Banks must bear some responsibility because he could have called the businessmen as witnesses himself or applied to the judge to have the court call them to give evidence. He did not.

Justice Wylie also re-iterated that he had made an error in his earlier judgement when he found that Mr Banks' wife was not a credible witness.

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