TV3 has been banned from filming John Banks' trial after it breached media guidelines by recording the MP pulling something from his ear and eating it.
Justice Edwin Wylie this afternoon summoned senior TV3 management to court where he banned them from filming the rest of the trial, the verdict, the sentencing or anything recorded previously in the trial.
The judge said that TV3 last week had broadcast a clip of Banks sitting in the High Court in Auckland. Banks appeared to pull something from his ear, look at it and eat it.
TV3 lawyer Clare Bradley said the footage was taken on Thursday, in the first 15 minutes of the afternoon session.
Justice Wylie said the footage appeared, on the face of it, to be intended to expose Banks to "ridicule and derision".
Bradley said there was "no getting round that it was a bad judgment call".
She and deputy editor of news and current affairs Richard Sutherland had decided to run the clip. They had considered that there were no fair-trial implications and that Banks was a public person who would be able to withstand the attention, Bradley said.
The clip was aired to demonstrate Banks' reaction to audio of his police interview, she said.
She apologised to the court and to Banks, though the judge still decided to impose a ban.
Banks, the Epsom MP and former leader of the ACT Party, is on trial for "transmitting a return of electoral expenses knowing that it is false in a material particular".
The charge relates to three entries in the electoral returns for his failed 2010 Auckland Super City mayoral campaign.
The donations were recorded as anonymous, but the Crown says Banks knew two donations of $25,000 were from Kim Dotcom and one of $15,000 was from SkyCity. Bradley said an apology to Banks would be broadcast tonight.
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