John Banks awarded $66,200 in costs from the Crown

John Banks was awarded costs from the Crown
John Banks was awarded costs from the Crown

Former politician John Banks has been awarded $66,200 in costs from the Crown for the Court of Appeal hearings that resulted in his acquittal for his electoral return for mayoral donations.

Mr Banks said a further application for costs of $190,000 had now been lodged in the High Court for the earlier trial which convicted him of electoral fraud before that conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

The case related to donations Mr Banks received from Kim Dotcom for his 2010 mayoral campaign which were not disclosed on his electoral return and which Mr Banks claimed were anonymous.

The decision by the Court of Appeal to overturn its earlier decision for a retrial meant Mr Banks was acquitted of filing a false return.

Attorney General Chris Finlayson confirmed the Court of Appeal costs had now been resolved.

"All questions of costs involving Mr Banks have now been resolved and he has withdrawn allegations of bad faith against the Crown Law Office and Mr Heron, the former Solicitor General."

Mr Banks said he was hoping for a hearing on the costs in the High Court in the next three months.

"These things don't occupy my mind these days but it's good we've got a process in place for some compensation." He said it was not enough to cover all his legal costs.

While he had dropped allegations of bad faith by former Solicitor General Mike Heron, he was still taking action against Paul Dacre QC, the Crown Prosecutor in the case for the failure to disclose a critical document in the case.

The Appeal Court's decision against a retrial came after the disclosure of the document which the Crown had not revealed ahead of a previous Court of Appeal hearing.

Mr Banks hit out at the Mr Dacre and Mr Heron at the time saying he was considering his legal options.

Mr Banks said Mr Heron had sworn an affidavit he had not known of that document and Mr Banks took him at his word so dropped any legal action.

The Court of Appeal quashed Mr Bank's original conviction and ordered the retrial after Mr Bank's wife Amanda tracked down witnesses to a lunch at which Kim Dotcom had claimed the donations were discussed.

Those witnesses corroborated Mrs Banks' version of events. At the second hearing the Crown had argued the retrial should go ahead and the new evidence in the document decided on by the trial judge.

However, the Court of Appeal disagreed and said there had been a "serious error of process" but put that down to a misjudgment rather than malice.

- NZ Herald

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