Dotcom search warrant case starts in top court today

Simpson Grierson partner William Akel

This nation’s highest court will today hear the arguments over whether the warrants used during the raid on Kim Dotcom home were valid.

Mr Dotcom’s lawyer Simpson Grierson partner William Akel says the Supreme Court hearing on the case is set down for today and tomorrow.

In February the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of government submissions that search warrants executed during the high-profile arrest of Mega founder Mr Dotcom were valid.

Justice Ellen France, Justice Tony Randerson and Justice Douglas White granted the Crown's appeal against an order declaring the warrants invalid, saying "the defects were defects in form not in substance.”

Mr Akel says essentially the question is who was right out of the Court of Appeal and chief High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann, who had ruled in Mr Dotcom’s favour.

No new evidence will be introduced, Mr Akel says, but there will be an amplification of old and some new arguments.

The lawyer was not prepared to say what he felt the chances of success are.

The hearing is a part of a series of legal challenges to head off the US federal government's bid to extradite Dotcom and his co-accused Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk to face charges of conspiracy to operate websites used to illegally distribute copyrighted content.

Earlier this month the Court of Appeal adjourned a hearing between Mr Dotcom and the Crown regaring seized electronic information, to let lawyers try and reach an agreement for the return of the files.

Last week the Court of Appeal extended freezing orders over Mr Dotcom’s assets until April 2015.

Other cases Mr Dotcom is involved in include a civil suit against the police and GSCB relating to the raid, and a fight over his frozen assets following legal action from movie studios and record companies.

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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