Amanda Banks has emerged as an extremely good wife to John Banks with her "obsessive" detective work turning up crucial evidence which led to the former Act Leader's electoral fraud conviction being overturned today.

Mr Banks was today celebrating after the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial.

He was convicted in the High Court earlier this year after failing to disclose donations from Kim Dotcom to his Auckland Mayoralty campaign in 2010.

Mr Banks appealed, introducing affidavits from two US-based businessmen who he says were at the same lunch at which Mr Dotcom claimed donations were discussed. The pair - David Schaeffer and Jeffery Karnes - both said donations were not discussed at that lunch.

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John Banks in the dock in Auckland's High Court before his sentencing in August. Photo / Richard Robinson

In a statement, the Court of Appeal said it had decided to admit the evidence. "Although it was not fresh evidence, the Court was satisfied that if the evidence has been before [High Court judge] Justice Wylie the outcome may have been different. It was in the interests of justice to admit the evidence."

Mrs Banks, who now lives apart from her Auckland based husband in Queenstown, was present at the lunch in question and was a key witness in the High Court hearing.

The Court of Appeal's decision notes Mrs Banks ``was stung by the Judge's opinion of her reliability".

"She became quite obsessed as she puts it, with identifying the two Americans.

"She recalled that a trans-Pacific communications cable had been discussed at the lunch and scoured news articles on the topic, eventually finding one which mentioned that Mr Dotcom had endorsed such a project and was trying to organize a group of investors to fund it."

Mrs Banks' research also identified the second businessman and Mr Banks' lawyers contacted to two men and secured sworn affidavits from them.

But Dotcom this afternoon told the Herald: "I'm just shaking my over John Banks. I just don't understand how he thinks this is going to change things."
He said the meeting with the American businessmen took place "a couple of days before the donation meeting".

"I think the meetings with the Americans was either on the 5th or 6th (of June 2010) and the meeting with the donations was I believe on the 9th.

"The cheques were dated on the day when I signed them which I think was the 9th.

"What Mr Banks is trying to do is use another meeting that had nothing to do with the donations and make it about the donations.

"That also doesn't work because in his own police evidence he has himself said that we did have discussions about donations."

Mr Banks told the Herald he had not yet seen the judgement and had only learned of the decision via the media however it was "more than pretty good, it's great news."

"Remember what I said on day one - I would never ever knowingly sign a false electoral return."

He will speak to media further later this afternoon.

In finding Mr Banks guilty, the High Court's Justice Edwin Wylie had said Kim Dotcom and his wife Mona had been credible witnesses. The Court of Appeal statement said that its decision did not mean that they were unreliable witnesses. "It merely establishes that the evidence should be reconsidered at a new trial."


Mona Dotcom was found to be a credible witness. Photo / Doug Sherring

Mr Banks had consistently maintained the donations, and a further donation from SkyCity, were anonymous.

During the judge-alone trial in June, the Crown argued Banks' failed mayoral campaign received two $25,000 donations from Megastuff Ltd on Mr Dotcom's behalf in June 2010 and $15,000 from SkyCity in May that year.

On August 1 in the High Court at Auckland, Justice Edwin Wylie sentenced the 68-year-old to two months' community detention and 100 community work, Mr Banks said he would appeal, citing "compelling new evidence".

Justice Wylie had ruled the charge in relation to the SkyCity donation was not proven but he believed Mr Dotcom was telling the truth.


Kim Dotcom gives evidence in Auckland's High Court in May. Photo / Brett Phibbs