19 Apr 2013

MP prosecutor to take on Banks in court

9:30 pm on 19 April 2013

A retired Wellington accountant who prosecuted Labour MP Trevor Mallard is set to have another day in court prosecuting another politician.

In a decision released on Friday, Wellington District Court judge Ian Mill has ruled that Graham McCready has provided enough evidence for a summons to be issued against ACT Party leader John Banks.

The information provided by Mr McCready to the court accuses Mr Banks of knowingly filing a return of electoral expenses relating to the Auckland super-city mayoral election, which was false in a material particular. John Banks was a candidate.

The return listed all donations as anonymous, including money received from internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and the SkyCity Casino, but it is alleged that Mr Banks knew who had made those donations.

Mr Banks's lawyer argued against the issue of a summons, saying there was insufficient evidence to support the proposed private prosecution and any court case would result in a media circus.

However, Judge Mill ruled that a summons should be issued.

Because the case relates to an Auckland matter, it will be dealt with in the district court in that city. No hearing date has yet been set.

The office of John Banks is refusing to comment on Friday.

In 2009, Graham McCready prosecuted Trevor Mallard after the MP was involved in a stoush with National MP Tau Henare.

Mr Mallard pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of fighting in a public place and was ordered to pay $500 to the Salvation Army Bridge programme, which deals with alcohol and drug dependency.