So John Banks is innocent of filing phony electoral returns. But he is still guilty of being John Banks. And being John Banks now appears to be the reason for him being charged in the first place, and for evidence in his favour being withheld by the prosecutor.
But whatever you think about the former Minister of Rhyming Slang, and my own estimation is subterranean, his case highlights a serious problem with NZ justice. And I don’t just mean the problems of evidence.
I mean the extreme fricking delay in getting justice.
As they say, justice delayed is justice denied. Banks filed his electoral return in 2010. Five years ago. This first went to court in 2012. It’s only yesterday, when it was confirmed he wouldn’t face a retrial, that his name was finally cleared.
He was put through the mill. Utterly unable to get on with his life. His political career was terminated– for which some, me included, are very grateful. But a man, even this one, is entitled to something in the way of justice much swifter than this.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Even if it’s denied to John Banks.