Member log in

Court rules on evidence in Dotcom civil case

The High Court has ruled some evidence collected for NZ Herald reporter David Fisher’s book on Kim Dotcom can be admitted into discovery for the internet entrepreneur’s civil case.

The Dotcoms and his associates are claiming $6 million in damages for the actions of the Police and GCSB relating to search and surveillance leading up to the 2012 raids.

Lawyers for both Mr Dotcom and the attorney-general on behalf of the GCSB and the police made a range of discovery applications in March in the leadup to the trial for which a date has not been set.

The attorney-general wanted information connected to recordings, transcripts and research for the book The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom, as well as records of communications between Mr Fisher and the Dotcoms and their associates.

The journalist said releasing it would have a chilling effect on the public’s right to freedom of speech.

In court the attorney-general’s lawyers argued they had the right to see documents relating to the book under the Privacy Act.

Mr Dotcom’s lawyers argued the act did not apply because Mr Fisher's activities were within the definition of a news activity by a news medium.

Justice Winkelmann ruled the activity did not fall under the definition of news media  because a book, not an article was produced, and Mr Fisher had written it independently and not in affiliation with the NZ Herald.

She also granted the attorney-general’s request for medical records relating to Mona Dotcom and associate Junelyn Van Der Kolk.

Lawyers for Mr Dotcom had asked to see documents in eight categories. Justice Winkelmann granted access to only the correspondence between the police and the GCSB relating to the ministerial certificate Bill English signed suppressing the GCSB’s involvement.

In four other categories she ruled the evidence did not suggest documents existed, while in two categories she said the evidence was not relevant.

She ruled some documents from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet relating to the GCSB’s surveillance could also be admitted.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

AttachmentSize
RAW DATA: Judgment (PDF)203.88 KB

More by Victoria Young

Comments and questions
1

Again the judiciary are showing themselves to not be independent nor truly committed to any cause other than self protection and cronyism.