Dotcom 'offended' by Banks' anonymous donation request

By Heather McCracken

John Banks. Photo / Mark Mitchell
John Banks. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Kim Dotcom has told a court he was offended when told John Banks wanted his $50,000 mayoral campaign donation to be anonymous.

Mr Dotcom was giving evidence in Auckland District Court this morning in a private prosecution of Mr Banks for allegedly filing a false election return.

Banks has denied the charge, which has been brought in a private prosecution by Graham McCready.

Mr Dotcom, who gave his occupation in court as "business manager'', confirmed a statement made to police that he was asked to split his donation into two anonymous $25,000 cheques.

Kim Dotcom. Photo / NZ Herald
Kim Dotcom. Photo / NZ Herald

"My reaction at first was I asked him why and I kind of felt offended,'' he said.

"I had no problem with anyone knowing that I made this donation. He [Banks] said 'Kim, if I help you in the future it's better if nobody knows about your donation'.''

Mr Dotcom also confirmed Mr Banks was flown in his private helicopter from Mechanics Bay in central Auckland to the Dotcom mansion in Coatesville in 2010.

Mr McCready asked whether he knew Mr Banks had subsequently denied any memory of the flight.

"Yes,'' Mr Dotcom said.

Mr Dotcom's head of security Wayne Tempero also gave evidence of being present on the helicopter flight, and at a meeting in Coatesville when the two $25,000 cheques were discussed.

Mr McCready asked: "Was it clear that Mr Banks knew that Kim Dotcom was giving him two cheques for $25,000?''

"Correct,'' Mr Tempero replied.

The hearing before Judge Phil Gittos was due to start yesterday but was adjourned because Mr McCready was unable to fly out of Wellington because of bad weather.

The oral evidence hearing is to determine whether there is a prima facie case against Mr Banks.

SKYCITY BOSS CONFIRMS DONATIONS TO BANKS

Nigel Morrison has been giving evidence at the private prosecution of John Banks. Photo / NZ Herald
Nigel Morrison has been giving evidence at the private prosecution of John Banks. Photo / NZ Herald

SkyCity boss Nigel Morrison told the court of handing John Banks a cheque in an envelope at a meeting in 2010.

Mr Morrison confirmed details from his statement made to police in 2012, including that he made the same donations to Mr Banks' and Len Brown's mayoral campaigns.

Mr Banks' donation was handed over during a 10-minute meeting in Mr Morrison's office.

"So in other words, as far as you were concerned Mr Banks knew you were making a donation and it was not anonymous,'' Mr McCready said.

"I handed over a cheque in an envelope across a table to Mr Banks,'' Mr Morrison said.

"Was it the intention of SkyCity for that cheque to be anonymous?'' Mr McCready asked.

"Personally I didn't think about that,'' Mr Morrison replied.

The hearing before Judge Phil Gittos, to determine whether there is a prima facie case against Mr Banks, continues this afternoon.

- APNZ

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