It seems Banks lobbied his mate Maurice Williamson for Dotcom to be able to purchase the Coatesville property. Williamson approved the deal but subsequently changed his mind after Simon Power vetoed it. No doubt John Key will say that Banks wasn't in Parliament at the time, so there's no issue.
Dotcom would presumably have mentioned any such donation...unless he's holding back.
Banks should be sacked for mangling the English language! His repeated description of Dotcom as a "donater" last night on TV3 made me cringe.
That solution might see the Greens stuffed for a while. I'm not sure their supporters want to see them getting into bed with National.
Interestingly, the same story suggests that Dotcom asked for Banks' assistance following his arrest and Banks was unhelpful. It seems that sometimes money doesn't talk.
We could even put aside the arguments and just discuss the facts.
Well, Keith, your book does discuss the facts, at length. And you've already mentioned that several people who are au fait with boats said that Ben and Olivia were dropped off at a ketch. Then there were those who saw a man acting inappropriately towards women. He was never identified but clearly bore no resemblance to Watson. These and many other facts about the case should give us cause for concern. Of course, some people hold the belief that the police and justice system are never wrong.
we have a rigorous appeal system which requires you to go through substantive hoops
Is that meant to inspire confidence? Legal counsel for David Bain found the hoops too onerous but as soon as they travelled to the other side of the world they discovered that Bain had been the victim of a "substantial miscarriage of justice".The Privy Council made the same point that I made earlier - it's not up to the Court of Appeal to decide the merits of any new evidence, that's a job for jurors. I note that Peter Ellis has also found the appeals process too onerous, despite clear and compelling evidence that he was wrongly convicted. When you have a retired Judge (Thorp) suggesting that we need a CCRC, you have to admit that the current set-up needs improving.
Keith Hunter actually said on the Media7 recording tonight that he believed the Watson case embodied a greater miscarriage of justice than that suffered by Thomas.
Russell, is that interview available online and when will it be screened on TV7?
I tend to agree with Hunter, though I was fairly young at the time of the Thomas case and didn't know the details very well. My impression of the Watson case, like that of Ellis, is that the justice system stubbornly refuses to accept the possibility of a miscarriage of justice. Maryanne Garry, pyschology lecturer and one of the founders of the Innocence Project here, made a comment some years back arguing that in the US it was widely understood and recognised that wrongful convictions happened, but that wasn't the case here (maybe by the wider public but not by those with the power to correct miscarriages). Hunter has made a similar point, saying that we have some growing up to do. It's quite disappointing because several years ago retired judge Sir Thomas Thorp published research on miscarriages and found the system to be far from infallible. He has been strongly critical of the Justice Ministry which has obstructed attempts to establish a Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body that exists in the UK to examine possible miscarriages.
I'd add Philip Sturm, another case that glared false conviction
I must confess I don't know much about this case other than what's been reported. On that basis, I wasn't aware that wrongful conviction was likely. Sturm at least had the luxury - for want of a better word - of a second trial, something denied to the likes of Ellis and Watson (among others).
So far you've dredged up moon landing hoaxers and 9/11 Truthers, so you're doing well. As for your claim that Watson may have been fitted up but that there was possibly sufficient evidence to convict anyway, that would be up to a jury to decide, certainly not up to me, you, or the Court of Appeal. But here's what lawyer Steven Price has said of Hunter's book on the case:
Hunter asserts that those involved in securing Watson’s conviction were party to a horrendous miscarriage of justice. He says the police were deceptive and tunnel-visioned, the media helped spread damaging misinformation, and the prosecutors misled the jury. They’re serious allegations. But Hunter explains his grounds for them. His case is persuasive. The onus now, I think, is on the police and prosecution to answer it. What has Hunter got wrong? What other evidence has he missed out that should convince us that Watson is guilty? Is there a good response to his allegations of police and prosecution misconduct?
I phoned the police and asked those questions. I was told that Rob Pope, who was in charge of the Watson investigation and is now Deputy Police Commissioner, hadn’t read the book, and didn’t want to relitigate the case, which after all had been through an appeals process.
Not good enough, I say. Hunter has raised serious questions here, and they go to the heart of public confidence in the administration of justice. The fact that an innocent man may be in jail is just the beginning of what should trouble us about this case.
It's unclear what you know or don't know about the Watson case. If you have read Hunter's book about the case, you might be less inclined to put so much store in the DNA evidence. I'm not sure what you're getting at when you refer to "the nature in which certain surfaces had been cleaned."