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Posts Tagged ‘legal advice’

Money in the Banks (Part #Rua)

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John Banks has dug himself further into a hole by stating yesterday,

If I had have quite specifically and quite easily answered all of those questions upfront, contrary to the legal advice, then I wouldn’t find myself in this situation where people think I’m obfuscating. I shouldn’t have taken that legal advice, I should have answered questions much more straightly.”

See: Banks’ Dotcom call: ‘I’d do it again‘ (1 May 2012)

Banks is using the excuse that he received “legal advice” which advised him not to say anything to the media (1 May),

I could have quite easily answered all of those questions up front, contrary to the legal advice.  I have never had any problem answering questions in a very straight manner…that is why the public will be surprised I took the legal advice literally, not to jeopardise any inquiry.”

See: Banks ‘regrets’ legal advice to stay silent (1 May 2012)

To understand why that excuse is about as flimsy as wet toilet paper in a sewarage pond, one has to look back at the timelime of this scandal.

TV3 broke the story of Banks failing to declare  the source of Sky City’s donation on 5  April.

See:  Banks accused of failing to declare donation (5 April 2012)

At that point there was no knowledge or mention of any other dodgy donations.

Twentytwo days later, TV3 again broke the story that Banks had received donations from web entrepreneur, Kim Dotcom, and had listed them as “anonymous”,

Kim Dotcom is the latest person to have been found to have allegedly donated money anonymously to John Banks.

It is already known that in the race to be super city mayor, Sky City donated $15,000 each to the two front runners.

Len Brown listed Sky City as a donor but Mr Banks did not.

Campbell Live was interested in that because we had heard Kim Dotcom had made a donation three times that size to the John Banks mayoralty campaign.

Campbell Live has even been told Mr Banks was so grateful that he called Dotcom to thank him for it.

An investigation found that like the Sky City donation, the Dotcom donation appears to be listed as anonymous.

The question is why?”

See: Banks knew about ‘anonymous’ Dotcom donation – reports (27 April 2012)

That TV3 report is time-stamped on the TV3 news website at 7pm. In a phone call, the following exchange takes place,

Campbell: Did you ever helicopter out there?

Banks: I… don’t remember that. I mean, I had my own helicopter or course – I was flying, myself.

Campbell: Did you ever land it at his house or go out there in a helicopter?

Banks: I don’t recall…

Campbell: You’d remember that – you’d remember that surely if you helicoptered into the Coatsville mansion. You would surely remember that?

Banks: I can’t recall whether I did or not…

Campbell: What, you can’t recall if you flew a helicopter into the Coastville Mansion of Kim Dotcom?

Banks: No, no.

See: Ibid

Now the interesting thing here is that given that phone call, which was aired after 7pm on Friday 27 April – how could John Banks have had time to consult a lawyer for legal advice?

There was no mention of any police investigation until the following day, on Saturday 28 April, when told RadioLIVE,

If and when the police want to come and see me and talk to me, I’m very happy to do so.”

And if, as he claims, he had somehow managed to consult a lawyer prior to John Campbell speaking to him on the phone on Friday 27 April, why did Banks continually state “he could not remember” instead of  “the matter is currently under Police invesigation and I have been advised by legal counsel not to make any public statements at this point”. Or even a simple “no comment”?

Because the reference to so-called “legal advice not to talk publicly” doesn’t surface until Tuesday 1 May – some  four days later. In those four days, Banks keeps insisting that “he can’t remember”, “he can’t recall”.  He makes no reference to this mysterious “legal advice” until four days later.

It is the opinion of this blogger that Banks’  did not have any legal advice when John Campbell first phoned Banks on 27 April.

It is the opinion of this blogger that Banks’ continuing claim that he “could not remember” was a weak attempt at obfuscation  and not based on any manner of  “legal advice”.

Furthermore, one has to question that if John Banks is being truthful and Kim Dotcom is lying – what would be the point of requiring “legal advice”? Legal advice for what?

It should be noted that thus far, not one claim made by Kim Dotcom has been proven to be incorrect or  lie.

On the other hand, despite Banks first claiming that he did not phone Dotcom to thank him for the $50,000 donation – he now admits to  phoning the entrepreneur to thank him for sponsoring  a  fireworks display  in 2010, estimated to cost about $500,000.

See: John Banks dined at mansion, gave advice on Dotcom residency

Interestingly, at first Banks couldn’t recall phoning Dotcom. Now he not only recalls that he did – but remembers the substance of that phone conversation?!

How does that work?

Banks himself admits to lying – on legal advice,

If I had have quite specifically and quite easily answered all of those questions upfront, contrary to the legal advice, then I wouldn’t find myself in this situation where people think I’m obfuscating.”

See: Banks’ Dotcom call: ‘I’d do it again

This blogger has never heard of  “legal advice” that advises a client to deliberately lie. Legal counsel usually advise a firm “no comment”, and say nothing further.

Furthermore,  Banks at first said “his contact with Dotcom was limited to 20 minutes conversation and he had been to Dotcom’s mansion in Coatesville only once for dinner“.

See: Banks sought split donation: Dotcom

Since then, Banks has admitted several visits to Dotcom’s Coatsville mansion; possibly two phone calls; and advocating on behalf of the entrepreneur by phoning Minister Maurice Williamson,

One, because he had been particularly generous to New Zealand; two, he was an entrepreneur who came to New Zealand to live in this home and do great things for New Zealand; three, he was a New Zealand resident; and four, I could see no reason a New Zealand resident … shouldn’t be able to buy property here.”

See: Banks: I didn’t lie, I simply forgot

Again, Dotcom’s claims are confirmed – whilst Banks’ story changes almost daily.

I leave the final comment, to the Prime Minister,

If he’s complied with the law, some people might not like it but he’s complied with the law, and you wouldn’t sack a minister for complying with the law of New Zealand.”

See:  previous Blogpost on Pansy Wong, Richard Worth, and Phil Heatley

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References

Banks knew about ‘anonymous’ Dotcom donation – reports (27 April 2012)

Police expected to investigate Banks’ campaign donations (28 April 2012)

Banks regrets not being up-front over donations (1 May 2012)

Banks’ Dotcom call: ‘I’d do it again‘ (1 May 2012)

Banks ‘regrets’ legal advice to stay silent (1 May 2012)

John Banks: I briefed Dotcom (2 May 2012)

Banks: I didn’t lie, I simply forgot (2 May 2012)

Previous Blogposts

John Banks – Demented or Slippery as an eel?!

Key on Banks; Staunch, stupid, or stuck?

Money in the Banks

.Banks: I didn’t lie, I simply forgot

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