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Accusations of 'liar' fly at John Banks' trial

Published: 7:07AM Tuesday May 20, 2014 Source: ONE News

Accusations of "liar" flew in court today as Kim Dotcom gave evidence at Act MP John Banks' trial over electoral donations.

The internet tycoon is a key witness in the case against his former friend.

Banks is charged with filing a false electoral return after his failed Auckland mayoral bid in 2010, by allegedly declaring donations from Mr Dotcom and SkyCity as anonymous. He denies the charges.

Mr Dotcom today told the High Court in Auckland about a lunch-date he shared with Banks at his mansion in 2010.

"He said to me that he thinks New Zealand needs people like me," said Mr Dotcom.

Mr Dotcom also said he offered Mr Banks $50,000 to go toward his bid to be re-elected Auckland Mayor.

"He said he wanted to keep it anonymous because down the road, he said, 'if I help you Kim, it is better if nobody knows about your donations'," said Mr Dotcom.

The Mega founder says Banks then asked him to split the donation into two sums of $25,000. Mr Dotcom says this "irritated" him.

He says he was happy for the donation to be public and didn't understand why Mr Banks wanted to keep it anonymous, the court heard.

'Friends with Maurice Williamson'

Mr Dotcom, who was new to the country in 2010, also told the court he turned down an offer of help from Banks even though he wanted to stay.

However, when it came to applying to the Overseas Investment Office to buy property, Mr Dotcom says Banks stepped in.

"He mentioned he was friends with Minister Maurice Williamson and that he'd talk to him about it," said Mr Dotcom.

The application was eventually declined.

The defence argued Mr Dotcom has a criminal past, accusing him of making up his story to try and get back at Banks who didn't help him after he was arrested in 2012.

Mr Dotcom denied he was a liar.

He also said Banks had forgotten about him after his arrest.

"He wanted to have nothing to do with me after the raid," said Mr Dotcom.

"He forgot that we were friends, that we were having good chats together, and that we wanted to help each other...I was hurt as a friend."

Meanwhile, a woman who worked on John Banks' 2010 mayoral campaign as a fundraiser says she didn't know who Mr Dotcom was until 2012.

Former National Party president Michelle Boag also described Mr Banks as honest, forthright and one of the most generous people she has ever met.

The trial continues.