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New Zealand MP to face charges in Dotcom donation row

Published on Dec 3, 2013 3:37 PM

WELLINGTON (AFP) - A New Zealand MP allied to the government was Tuesday ordered to stand trial over fraud allegations involving donations from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, and will have to leave parliament if found guilty.

Mr John Banks, who resigned as a minister in October when initially committed by a District Court to stand trial over the allegations, had his bid for a judicial review of the ruling tossed out by a High Court judge.

Mr Banks is the sole MP of the ACT Party, which is in coalition with the National Party-led government. The case centres on donations he received from Mr Dotcom and the Sky City Casino in 2010 to help bankroll a failed bid to become Auckland mayor.

Mr Banks had argued there were inaccuracies in the original judgment, but High Court judge Paul Heath found no basis to overturn the District Court decision.

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