FBI 'cherry pick' Dotcom evidence
A 40-page document "cherry picking" from almost 22 million emails is the only information the FBI believes should be made available to Kim Dotcom before his extradition hearing.
Lawyers spent yesterday arguing over what the internet mogul will be able to see to prior to the case, which is supposed to begin next month.
However, with the deadline drawing closer and lawyers on both sides unable to reach a compromise, it seems increasingly likely proceedings will be put off.
Dotcom said he believes the delays are deliberate.
"Everyone can see there is a strategy of delay on the part of the US Government and the Crown."
Yesterday's hearing came after Judge David Harvey decided in May that Dotcom should have access - or disclosure - to information collated against him by the FBI.
The US Government then called for a review of that decision, saying it was outside the treaty agreement New Zealand has with America about extradition.
Dotcom's legal team, headed by Paul Davison QC, say disclosure is vital for the defence, who otherwise would be arguing with "their hands tied behind their backs".
At the centre of the argument is a document called the "Record of Case" which is effectively a summary of the FBI information relevant to the case.
The document is subject to a non-publication order, but the defence team revealed yesterday it was a summary document from more than 22 million emails obtained by the FBI.
Lawyer for Dotcom's co-accused, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, Guyon Foley said the document "cherry picked" from the emails and did not provide a fair amount of information on which the defence could base its argument.
Davison said he did not see why the rest of the information could not be provided, given it was electronic.
"It's just a case of putting it on a device and delivering it."
The defence team only wanted material relevant to the case, he said.
"This is not a fishing expedition."
Crown lawyer John Pike argued there was no need for Dotcom to have access to the files because he was not being tried in New Zealand.
The judge in the extradition case needed only to decide if there is a case for him to answer in the United States, Pike said, and that question was answered by the record of case.
Pike said that to be eligible for disclosure, there was a threshold that had to be reached, and Dotcom's case did not meet that threshold.
"In making that determination the judge erred both in law and in principle," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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