The United States will have to prove it has the evidence to justify an extradition case against internet mogul Kim Dotcom.
In another set back to US moves to extradite Dotcom, Justice Helen Winkelmann yesterday upheld a decision that the US Government must reveal the information it has gathered about Dotcom which forms the basis of its court case against him.
One of the alleged internet pirate’s lawyers, Willie Akel, said the decision was another victory for the Dotcom camp.
‘‘This evidence is important and it’d be difficult to proceed without it,’’ he said.
Lawyer John Pike, acting for the US government, had earlier told Judge Harvey that it didn't have to disclose all this information as it needed only to prove its case was strong enough that a jury could reasonably convict Dotcom and his co-accused.
He said there was no requirement to reveal its case to Dotcom as it pursued an order to have him extradited back to the US to face copyright charges.
The US alleged Judge Harvey exceeded his jurisdiction by ordering the disclosure of evidence that was not essential to the case.
But the dismissal of the review by Justice Winkelmann in the High Court at Auckland means the US will have to prove it has the evidence to justify the charges.
The Megaupload lawyers argued that a lack of disclosure would unreasonably deny Dotcom and his co-accused natural justice and would leave him unable to prepare a case to fight his extradition.
Justice Winkelmann said any person sought by an overseas Government should be given sufficient information to allow them to argue their case.
She said the US characterisation of the case would result in a "Catch 22 situation" where without disclosure any threshold for extradition was likely to be met.
"In my view disclosure should be provided by the requesting state."
The judgement came the same day Dotcom's legal team appeared again in the High Court at Auckland seeking more money be released from his frozen accounts so he could pay his legal fees.
His team estimated Dotcom will run up nearly $5 million in legal fees fighting extradition in New Zealand, challenging the police raid of his Auckland mansion - already ruled unlawful by the courts - and fighting the copyright case against him in the US.
His legal team asked to borrow against his frozen $10 million worth of New Zealand government bonds, saying he had already run up legal bills of around $2.7 million.
Dotcom has successfully applied for access to some of his funds previously, and was granted a monthly allowance of $20,000 in April.
His lawyer Willie Akel also argued that a number of Dotcom's cars, which he said had lost half their value, should be put on the market to raise costs.
These could include his pink 1959 Cadillac convertible and 1957 Cadillac El Dorado.
It was also revealed yesterday that Mona Dotcom has racked up a legal bill of $123,000, despite lawyers only appearing on her behalf on three occasions.
Justice Judith Potter reserved her decision and said because the case could set legal precedents, she would have to carefully consider the options.
Authorities say he and his three co-accused - Mathias Ortmann, Fin Batato and Bram Van der Kolk- used Megaupload and its affiliated sites to knowingly make money from pirated movies and games.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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