Opposition parties offer Dotcom a lifeline

Kim Dotcom speaking at an Intelligence and Security Committee hearing at Bowen House on July 3, 2013.
Fairfax NZ

Kim Dotcom speaking at an Intelligence and Security Committee hearing at Bowen House on July 3, 2013.

Kim Dotcom could be saved from extradition by Opposition MPs who have promised to review his case should they win the next election.

The Greens, NZ First and Labour have all slammed the case against Dotcom, who faces an extradition hearing this year, saying the case against him is flawed.

The jostling comes as Dotcom today revealed that if his Internet Party did not reach the 5 per cent threshold in pre-election polling it would pull out of the election and throw its support behind another party.

"If #InternetParty won't poll 5+% before ballot papers are printed we'll self destruct & put our weight behind party adopting our policies," he tweeted this morning.

Ballot papers close between 20 and 27 days before an election.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, one of several politicians who have asked the controversial internet tycoon not to run, said the Green Party would fight any extradition order.

The case against Dotcom was based on an illegal raid, illegal search warrants and the illegal interception of communications, Norman said.

"Surely any sense of justice would lead to the conclusion that we shouldn't go ahead with extradition."

Instead, it was a "political case" pushed by the US Government and supported by Prime Minister John Key, he said.

Norman confirmed he had asked Dotcom not to run and said he expected the Greens to benefit from his support if his party failed.

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"My concern with the Kim Dotcom Party is it could result in wasted votes and increasing the likelihood of Mr Key being re-elected which obviously I don't support."

While Dotcom had raised the idea of pulling out with Norman, the Green Party leader had offered nothing in return.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe said he had not formally met Dotcom or discussed his case with him.

Cunliffe was more cautious when asked whether a Labour government would use its powers under the Extradition Act to overturn any order.

Under the act, the justice minister has the final say on any court-ordered extradition.

"I have not expressed a view on that matter and I'm not briefed to express a view on that matter," Cunliffe said.

"What I've said is on the face of it, it looks like from the court process under way that the actions of the New Zealand Government may well have been legally flawed in respect of the earlier attempt."

Whether or not the operations against Dotcom were illegal was for the courts to decide.

However, the decision would not be part of any election deal, he said.

"There is a clear separation between the judicial process and any political matters and we have no intention of doing any deals with the Interpret Party prior to the election," Cunliffe said.

NZ First leader Winston Peters dodged questions about whether he had been to the Dotcom mansion.

"I'm not answering that question because it's none of your business," Peters said.

However, if someone was in New Zealand legally they were entitled to all the same protections as a New Zealander, he said.

The Government had been "lying" about the Dotcom investigation and he was "out to prove it", Peters said.

Prime Minister John Key said it would be "interesting to hear" what Norman and Dotcom had spoken about during their meetings.

He did not expect that Dotcom giving support to other parties would make much difference as he was polling at 0 per cent.

Dotcom's hearing is set down for July 31, but could remain unresolved until after the election.

 - Stuff.co.nz


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