Story image

Dotcom disclosure unnecessary court hears

20 Sep 2012

New Zealand court-ordered discovery of evidence held by the US Federal government is a step too far, as the nation only has to prove internet tycoon Kim Dotcom has a case to answer, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Counsel for the US government, John Pike, told Justices Terence Arnold, Ellen France and Christine French in Wellington that two decisions in lower courts granting Dotcom access to evidence including millions of emails went too far, as the country seeking the extradition order only has to prove a prima facie case.

The only time a person facing extradition can seek disclosure is if the case brought before the courts is "manifestly deficient," for example by making assertions without any supplementary evidence, he said.

The US government is appealing last month's decision by Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann which granted Dotcom and his co-accused Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk access to the evidence to ensure they get a fair hearing.

The group faces extradition to the US amid claims their Megaupload file sharing service was part of a conspiracy to operate websites used to illegally distribute copyrighted content. The US government also alleges they conspired to launder the proceeds of that offending.

Paul Davison QC, counsel for Dotcom, told the court the extradition treaty between New Zealand and the US says an accused is subject to local law, and as such should be protected by natural justice requirements set down in the Bill of Rights Act.

"Natural justice doesn't exist in a vacuum, it exists in the real world to provide real protections for people in front of state power," Davison said.

The US government's money laundering and racketeering claims rely on Megaupload being found to have intentionally breached copyright, and the extradition hearing would have to fail if that wasn't the case, Davison said.

Speaking before the hearing, Dotcom told reporters outside the courthouse he was the victim of US bullying.

"It's a very political attack on our business that I don't think has any legal grounds," he said.

The hearing is set down for one day and is proceeding.

By Paul McBeth - BusinessDesk

Samsung & Trade Me offer AI-powered shopping
The smartphone camera & AI-powered tech, Trade Me says, is a ‘glimpse into the future of shopping’.
Neill Blomkamp's 'Conviction' is a prequel to BioWare's Anthem
You may remember Neill Blomkamp’s name from such films as District 9, Chappie, and Elysium. If you’ve seen any of those films, the short teaser trailer will seem somewhat familiar to you.
Security flaw in Xiaomi electric scooters could have deadly consequences
An attacker could target a rider, and then cause the scooter to suddenly brake or accelerate.
617 million stolen records up for sale on dark web
It may not be the first time the databases have been offered for sale.
IBM’s Project Debater unable to out-debate human
At this incredible display of technology, the result was remarkably close but the human managed to pip the machine in this instance.
LPL to broadcast weekly programming on Sky Sports
Let’s Play Live (LPL) has now announced it will broadcast weekly programming for the rest of 2019 on the Sky Sports channel from Sky TV. 
When hackers get the munchies, they just steal McDonalds
What happens when hackers get the munchies? Apparently in Canada, they decide to put their ‘hamburglar’ gloves on and go after unwitting people who happen to use the McDonalds app.
The smart home tech that will be huge in 2019
For millennial home buyers, a generation for whom technology has been ever-present, smart systems are the features they value above everything else.