MPs urged to back bid for Crown to take Banks case

By Heather McCracken

MP John Banks. File photo / Brett Phibbs
MP John Banks. File photo / Brett Phibbs

The man who brought a private prosecution against John Banks is appealing for MPs to support his bid for the Crown to take over the case.

Graham McCready, 69, has written to MPs seeking support for putting "the full resources of the Crown" behind the the trial of Mr Banks.

Mr McCready said he had "increasing health issues", and was "armed with an $80 recycled computer, a $2 printer, a $30 photocopier dressed in Warehouse grunge, driving a $700 car and funding trips to Auckland out of NZ Super."

He said he was in hospital with severe angina just a week before this week's successful hearing in the Auckland District Court.

"I got through that okay, which I think itself is a survival story," he said.

Mr McCready said he also wanted to establish a precedent that Crown Law would take over private prosecutions once they reached committal for trial.

"That itself would be a big step and a big advance in the justice system."

Mr McCready said if the Solicitor General elected not to take over the case, he would continue to handle it himself.

He said the experience was giving him a "first class criminal law education".

"Every step of the way I'm learning more and more.

"The criminal justice system, it's like doing tax returns. If you've done one you've done a hundred."

He'd also been heartened by support he had received from the public and from lawyers. "I turn up to court and lawyers approach me and say 'keep it up Graham, you're representing the people'."

Mr Banks was committed to trial on a charge of knowingly filing a false election return after an oral evidence hearing this week. He has since resigned from his ministerial portfolios.

Solicitor General Michael Heron, QC, wrote to Mr McCready on Thursday to say he was reconsidering intervening in light of the committal.

Mr McCready has responded to indicate he would like Crown Law to take up the case.

He expected a decision to be made next week in order to meet the deadline for filing an indictment.

A spokeswoman for Crown Law said they were not able to say when a decision would be made.

Justice Minister Judith Collins would not comment whether the Solicitor General should intervene. A spokeswoman said the minister didn't comment on individual cases, and referred questions to the Attorney General Chris Finlayson.

A spokesman for Mr Finlayson said it would not be appropriate for him to comment.

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