Mr Graham McCready’s private prosecution of John Banks has been taken over by the State…
John Banks will now face the full weight of the Crown as he defends allegations he knowingly signed a false donation return in his failed 2010 Auckland mayoral bid.
The ACT MP was committed to stand trial by Judge Phil Gittos in Auckland District Court last week after a private prosecution was brought by retired Wellington accountant Graham McCready.
Mr McCready launched his action after police decided against prosecuting Banks, but the Solicitor-General has decided to take over the case, spokeswoman Jan Fulstow said.
“We normally do take over private prosecutions once they reach the stage of being committed,” Ms Fulstow told NZ Newswire.
Banks is accused of knowingly signing a declaration which declared donations from internet mogul Kim Dotcom and from SkyCity as being anonymous when he knew they gave the money.
Ms Fulstow said the decision to take the case had nothing to do with Banks being an MP.
She said Mr McCready had asked the Solicitor-General to take on the case.
Banks is still trying to prevent the matter getting to trial, seeking an urgent judicial review of Judge Gittos’ ruling in the High Court.
He said the judgment contained a myriad of factual inaccuracies and flawed legal decisions.