Why Dotcom’s extradition hearing has been delayed

Kim Dotcom’s lawyer says it was his client who sought a delay to his extradition hearing to get more information for his defence.

The US Government wants to extradite the Internet Party founder to face charges of copyright, conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering allegedly carried out by his company, Megaupload.

Paul Davison QC says late last week District Court Judge Nevin Dawson deferred the hearing which set for the end of this month. It is now to take place mid-February 2015.

Mr Davison says the District Court allowed the delay for two reasons; first to hear a judicial review case Mr Dotcom has launched, and second because Mr Dotcom needs access to his computer and clones of it before the hearing.

The judicial review proceedings are to be held in the High Court in November and review a District Court decision which directed various government departments not to provide Mr Dotcom with documents which the Mr Davison says are need for his client to be able to contest the extradition.

Mr Dotcom still has not had access to his computer and clones of information, which were taken during the raid of his mansion in 2012, Mr Davison says.

Chief High Court Judge Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled last Wednesday Mr Dotcom is entitled to clones of computers seized at the raid and confirmed the US agencies are not entitled to encrypted codes that the NZ Police used to examine the computes.

Mr Davison says it is fundamental his client have access to his own computers to contest the hearing. He says otherwise Mr Dotcom won’t have the same information the FBI may use in its case against him.

“It would be the most profoundly unfair scenario and quite contrary to any notion of justice as we understand it in this country.”

“Yes, Mr Dotcom is seeking to delay but only because he is being denied access to what is necessary to defend himself. And no one can make apology for that.”

Last month the entrepreneur offered US$5 million for whistleblowers who could help his case.

The German Enterpreneur is no stranger to the courts, he is also the plaintiff in a civil suit for $6 million against the GSCB and other parties for actions during the raid. That suit is still in pre-trial stages.

Mr Dotcom and associates are also being sued by Hollywood Studios such as Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, and Universal Studios in US District Court for running an online hub for copyright infringement.
 

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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