Attorney-General seeks Appeal Court tick to send Dotcom's computers to US
The Attorney-General has launched a Court of Appeal bid to send Kim Dotcom's computers and other devices to the US, following a Supreme Court ruling that found the warrants for their seizure weren't illegal.
Last December, the court ruled the search warrants executed in the high-profile 2012 raid on the internet entrepreneur were valid, although Chief Justice Sian Elias issued a dissenting view. Appearing via teleconference in the Court of Appeal before Justices Ellen France, Tony Randerson and Douglas White today, Merran Cooke from the Crown Law Office sought to quash restrictions on sending the devices to the US, which she argued were only in place while they waited on the Supreme Court decision.
Mr Dotcom and his co-accused Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk sought to have the warrants ruled invalid as they attempt to head off the US Federal government's bid to extradite them to the US, where they face charges of conspiracy to operate websites used to illegally distribute copyrighted material. They are currently appealing the date of their extradition hearing, which is set down for September.
Today, Mr Dotcom's lawyer, Ron Mansfield, told the court the devices should not leave New Zealand's jurisdiction, saying "it seems to be placing a high level of trust in American authorities."
Mr Dotcom wants access to his devices for an expert to check they haven't been "trojanised" by US authorities, before they were seized, a practice that Mr Mansfield told the justices was commonly used by the FBI.
Directions are expected to be issued shortly, the judges indicated.