Kim Dotcom is a wrecking ball to the New Zealand political system’s house of cards. He’s not only exposed illegal practices by the county’s top spy agency, the GCSB, but has embarrassed top politicians for their complicity with US PRISM programs and selective law making and has now caused a government minister to step down in the wake of a donation given by the Megaupload founder.
Admittedly this is all the fault of the minister in question. Dotcom actually made a donation to the man back in 2010 when he was running for mayor of Auckland. The problem arose however, when minister John Banks, decided that a donation from Kim Dotcom wouldn’t do him any favours, so he persuaded the internet mogul to split his $50,000 AUS donation into two, $25,000 payments, thereby keeping the donations anonymous.
Despite claiming innocence of these allegations, Banks has now resigned – though will somehow retain his seat in parliament to make sure the prime minister’s majority is preserved – while the case runs its course, most likely to keep this as under the rug as possible.
Dotcom is more than happy to talk about the donation scandal however, as he feels slighted by the politician over his unwillingness to accept a donation at face value: “I was offended, I don’t mind if people know,” Dotcom told the court (via Bloomberg) . Banks told him, “Kim, if I help you in the future it’s better no one knows about your donation.”
While this somewhat implies that Dotcom was negotiating some sort of future favour with Banks, or at least that the politician assumed that any donation would mean that he would owe that person something, either way he’s denying it ever happened, suggesting that he doesn’t remember the helicopter ride where the conversation supposedly took place.
Dotcom has made a habit of showing up New Zealand politicians, famously facing down the prime minister John Key over the GCSB’s illegal actions and asking him “why are you turning red prime-minister?” In what was a scintillating battle of wits, the prime minister responded, “why are you sweating?”
KitGuru Says: Whether you agree with Dotcom’s policies, his politics or his way of doing things, you have to admit it’s funny to see all the trouble he causes for an established political system. With his extradition hearing looming however, things could get even more interesting over the next few weeks. Keep your eyes peeled.