John Banks to apply for charges to be thrown out

By Jimmy Ellingham

ACT MP John Banks. Photo / Mark Mitchell
ACT MP John Banks. Photo / Mark Mitchell

ACT MP John Banks will apply to have charges over an alleged false electoral return against him thrown out because of a lack of evidence.

Banks is to face trial in the High Court at Auckland over allegations he filed a false electoral return during his failed bid for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010.

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He was excused from appearing when the matter was called today, where Justice Timothy Brewer said Bank's lawyer David Jones, QC, had until the end of March to file an application to dismiss the charges.

The Crown must file with the court and serve to Banks all the evidence it intended to call at the trial by March 21.

A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for early April and the trial has been pencilled in for 10 days in May.

Banks, Act's sole MP, stood down as party leader because of the prosecution.

He is alleged to have knowingly received political donations from internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and SkyCity that were recorded in official returns as anonymous.

The allegations relate to two $25,000 donations from Dotcom and a $15,000 donation from SkyCity.

- APNZ

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