Kim Dotcom visits Parliament

ANDREA VANCE AND TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 15:55 19/09/2012
Fairfax NZ

The German internet mogul visited Parliament today as the political storm over his $50,000 donation to Banks' failed mayoralty campaign rumbled on.

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Kim Dotcom says ACT leader John Banks has been through enough and it's time to move on.

The German internet mogul visited Parliament today as the political storm over his $50,000 donation to Banks'  failed mayoralty campaign rumbled on.

Although he believes Banks should quit over the scandal he said Prime Minister John Key has ''made his choice.'' Key has refused to sack his Small Business Minister.

Banks failed to show at Parliament this afternoon. A spokeswoman said he did not attend because of ''ACT party commitments.''

But Dotcom and wife Mona sat through the hour-long session and emerged saying it was ''very interesting.''

He grinned as Labour leader David Shearer and his deputy Grant Robertson questioned Key about a police report into the donation, released last week.

Dotcom drove to Wellington from his Auckland home in his black Mercedes SUV with personalised ''Kim.Com'' registration plate.

His extradition case is due to be heard at the Court of Appeal tomorrow.

''John Banks has been through enough and I think it's enough, it should go to rest, the whole topic I think it also wasn't easy for John Banks,'' he said.

He added: ''I think the Prime Minister has made his choice about the John Banks donations saga and it's time to move on.

''It's a very fragile majority, the balance of power is threatened by the John Banks affair so I think the Prime Minister has had to make a choice: am I going to uphold high ethical standards or do I want to remain in power?''

Dotcom says he went public over the donations because Banks refused to help him when he was held in Mt Eden prison earlier this year.

Dotcom was arrested on US anti-piracy charges and faces extradition. He suffered two slipped discs and his lawyer Greg Towers asked Banks to intervene.

After Dotcom's arrest Banks told the media he hardly knew Dotcom. And he told Towers it wouldn't look good to publicly support the mogul, because of his election support.

''I would say I was hurt because it is not the right thing to do. I wouldn't let a friend down if something happens to him that is tragic and he might not be useful to me anymore. I would stand by the friend and try to help.''

Banks had offered him friendship, he said.

''He  told me he wants to help us to establish ourselves in New Zealand... and I felt  that he was a nice guy and so I was very surprised when the actions against [his company] Megaupload took place that he said he hardly knew me and he only spoke with me for five minutes and I just think that's not what friends do.''

Dotcom confirmed his previous encounters with Banks, including at a New Years event and his birthday party.

He felt Banks should have helped because the prison was in his Epsom electorate.

''This is not about a mattress. I was in jail with two slipped discs and severe back pain and no one did anything about it... I think what triggered me coming out was that he declined to know me and that he said that I hardly had any contact with the guy, but there he was at my birthday party making a toast to me and there he was at the fireworks and everywhere. That was the thing that I didn't understand and I didn't agree with.''

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Dotcom doesn't believe his character was impugned by the scandal.

''I don't think so, because if you ask around there are not very many who think that JB (Banks) did the right thing. he should have been upfront and just tell people the truth and he didn't do that.''

Asked what the affair said about Key, Dotcom said: ''In my personal opinion I think that if my leadership would not uphold high ethical standards I would worry what else is lingering in the dark that I don't know about and as a voter I would certainly consider who to give my vote to at this election.''

Dotcom insists Banks did know the donation was from him.

''He certainly knew. He confirmed it to me in a phone call. He confirmed it to our bodyguards.''

Driving away from Parliament, accompanied by two cars and at least four security guards, he tooted at trailing reporters.

- Stuff

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