Dotcom extradition hearing delayed

KIM DOTCOM: The Megaupload founder will have to wait until next year to find out his fate.
KIM DOTCOM: The Megaupload founder will have to wait until next year to find out his fate.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom has had his extradition hearing postponed until March next year.

The hearing, which was due to take place in the North Shore District Court in August, has been pushed back until March 2013.

Dotcom's lawyer, Paul Davison QC and Crown lawyers representing the US government agreed to the delay, which is to give pre-hearing court proceedings in the case time to go through the court system.

Dotcom tweeted about his disappointment at the delay:

"Extradition hearing delayed til March. Dirty delay tactics by the US. They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest."

"The NZ government is refusing an NZ resident due process and a fair defense. Shame on you John Key for allowing this to happen. Shame on you."

At Dotcom's last court appearance earlier this month, Davison argued his client was entitled to see the evidence US authorities had against him.

But Crown lawyers said there was no need for Dotcom to see the information because he is not being tried in New Zealand.

In his minute documenting the extradition hearing delay, Judge David Harvey said the lawyers had indicated they would appeal any decision on disclosure to the Court of Appeal, and perhaps the Supreme Court.

Judge Harvey said the appeal process could take "some time", and the appeals were "necessary" in light of concerns from Dotcom's lawyers about access to information and the effect it would have on their ability to defend him.

The extradition hearing is expected to take three weeks.

A document at the centre of Dotcom's bid to get disclosure is the "Record of the Case" - effectively a summary of the FBI information relevant to the case.

It is subject to a non-publication order, but the defence team revealed in court earlier this month it was a summary document from more than 22 million emails obtained by the FBI.

In his minute Judge Harvey confirmed the Record of the Case cannot be made public.

Dotcom and his co-accused will remain on bail until the extradition hearing.

Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing website Megaupload, is facing extradition to the USA on copyright infringement charges.

Auckland Now