Court of Appeal reserves Dotcom decision

Last updated 17:16 20/09/2012
Fairfax NZ

Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom comes out from the Court of Appeal in Wellington. The Crown had been challenging a court decision relating to evidence in the case against the internet millionaire.

Dotcom appears at Court of Appeal

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The Court of Appeal says it will give a decision as soon as it can on whether the United States Government has to hand over the documents it says justifies extraditing Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom to stand trial on copyright and racketeering charges.

The government was at the court today asking it to overturn a decision that it had to disclose documents it was relying on to show that it had grounds to extradite Dotcom and three of his associates.

After the hearing Dotcom said he thought the New Zealand judicial system was fair and independent.

"It was an interesting hearing and we have to see what the judges decide.''

He said the only thing that made him nervous was the ongoing delay tactics by the United States dragging out the legal process.

If it was up to him, he said, there would be no taxpayer money spent and none of his own money on his legal defence.

Dotcom said he wished he was not pioneering this section of law in New Zealand.  He thought he had always complied with the law and wondered why a company like Youtube had not been targeted.

He also said a new Mega site could be expected after the case, but not like the old one.

Dotcom called the whole case malicious and part of the US government trying to defend an outdated business model.

Earlier in court Dotcom's lawyers said that so far they have received a draft "record of the case", in effect a summary, and been told they will get nothing more, not even copies of Dotcom's own information contained in computer files seized in January in a spectacular raid on the internet millionaire's Coatesville mansion.

The government's lawyer, John Pike, said the District Court and High Court do not have the power to order evidence to be disclosed in the extradition process being used. If the record of the case was thought it inadequate the process was for the judge at the extradition hearing to invite the government to add to the record.

But Paul Davison, QC, acting for Dotcom, said the extradition hearing - currently due to be heard next March - was the same as committing someone for trial. The government had to show evidence that, on the face of it, Dotcom and the others had a case to answer.

Dotcom would have "both his hands tied behind his back" if he had to go through the extradition hearing without knowing the evidence being used to back up the allegations.

The court heard there were "millions" of documents but not all of them would be relevant to the extradition issues and some had already been presented to the two US grand juries who had considered the case against Dotcom.

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