Dotcom: 'Hurt' by Banks denial of friendship

By Kate Shuttleworth

Kim Dotcom said at Parliament today he was hurt by John Banks denying he knew him after they had a clear friendship, and he believes the Epsom MP should stand down from his ministerial portfolios.

Mr Dotcom had been in Parliament to watch Question Time. Mr Banks wasn't present.

He said he was offered friendship by Mr Banks alongside a promise to help his family establish themselves in New Zealand.

"It was the fact that he declined to know me, and that he said `I hardly had any contact with the guy' but there he was at my birthday party making a toast to me.

"I just think, that's not what friends do.''

Mr Dotcom said he decided go public over the donation made to Mr Banks' Auckland mayoralty campaign fund after Mr Banks said he hardly knew Mr Dotcom.

Mr Dotcom said it was a politically fragile matter.

When asked if Mr Banks knew about the donations he said:

"He certainly knew - he confirmed it to me.

"He confirmed it to our bodyguard in a phone call, so he knew.''

He also said in an interview at Parliament today that serious questions should be asked of Prime Minister John Key.

"It's a very fragile majority. The balance of power is threatened by this whole John Banks affair. So I think the Prime Minister has had to make a choice; am I going to uphold ethical standards, or do I want to remain in power.''

When asked what he thought the donations saga said about Mr Key's leadership Mr Dotcom said any leadership that didn't uphold high ethical standards raised other doubts.

"I would worry what else is lingering in the dark that I don't know about, and as a voter I would certainly consider who to give my vote to next election.''

"I think it was very interesting today. Well I think the Prime Minister has made his choice about the John Banks' donation saga and it's time to move on.

Mr Dotcom said John Banks had not been honest but that he'd been through enough, and the matter should now be left to rest.

- NZ Herald

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