New Zealand Act party MP and former leader, John Archibald Banks, was found Guilty of electoral fraud this afternoon in New Zealand High Court. Judge Edwin David Wylie handed down his decision in the Judge alone trial at about 12:30pm NZ local time. Banks had unsuccessfully tried on at least two occasions to have the matter thrown out of court, not a good look for someone who has stood for elections on a “Justice” platform. Banks was also New Zealand Minister for police during the early 1990’s, a period where particularly dodgy police behaviour was actively concealed by the government Banks and the Act party were politically aligned to.
New Zealand police had also refused to release the statement that was taken by police from John Banks during their investigation which subsequently found that their was insufficient evidence to prosecute. The police decision not to prosecute Banks stunk of cover-up, even more so given that an ordinary citizen Graeme McCready was subsequently able to bring a private information in a prosecution that was belatedly taken over by the New Zealand Governments Crown Law office. Despite the police decision not to release Banks Statement a complaint was lodged with the Ombudsman who ruled that the statement should be release, but with certain strange conditions attached. The New Zealand courts are known for their political associations and delivery of tailor made orders and judgements that clearly favour and protect men and women in the legal profession and various other well heeled and politically well connected individuals, that makes the Banks decision by Justice Wylie even more noteworthy. The Nelson Mail earlier today ran a story quoting a politically well-connected Lawyer, is there any other sort?
Under the Electoral Act, the vacancy is triggered upon conviction, and is irrespective of whether Banks chooses to appeal, although the Registrar of the Court has 48 hours to notify the Speaker of the court’s decision. One lawyer, who wanted to remain anonymous because of links to a political party, said Banks’ parliamentary career may not necessarily end today should he be found guilty, as his lawyers may apply for him to be discharged without conviction. Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10120200/D-day-for-Banks-in-donation-case
Sentencing will take place on August 1st later this year, Despite Banks lawyer mentioning a discharge without conviction, Justice Wylie has requested a presentencing report to determine whether Banks would be suitable for home detention. From LF’s perspective, and undoubtedly many New Zealanders, Banks deserves no less than prison.
As for News Talk ZB’s Larry Williams allegation that prosecutor Graeme McCready was the crook, Williams alleging that it was a “civil matter”, well it seems that McCready just threw Larry Williams and his fucked up opinions, on mate John Banks, under a fucking bus. Then of course theres the story of How John Banks and Whale Oil Blogger Cameron Slater conspired to conceal Alex Banks offending whilst the trial was under way: