Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom loses Supreme Court bid to access US evidence against him
March 21 (BusinessDesk) - Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom lost his Supreme Court bid to access US government evidence against him ahead of his extradition hearing to face charges in the US related to operating websites used to illegally distribute copyrighted content such as music and movies.
In a decision released today, the Supreme Court in Wellington ruled by a majority that an earlier decision by the District Court was wrong to order the US to disclose more information than was provided in its ‘record of the case’ summary. Chief Justice Sian Elias dissented from the majority.
The Supreme Court’s decision upholds an earlier ruling by the Appeal Court after the High Court sided with the District Court, saying the relevant documents should be handed over. German-born Dotcom, who now lives in New Zealand, along with his co-accused, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, are facing extradition to the US on charges related to their file sharing website which the US government alleges encouraged users to upload copyright works for others to download.
“A record of the case must include a summary of the evidence relied on and, in this case, that has been provided,” Justice John McGrath said in the Supreme Court judgment. “It does not have to summarise all evidential material that the state may rely on at a trial. No basis in law has been shown for the appellants to seek further disclosure or information concerning the case against them.”
Justice Elias argued that the District Court had the right to seek more information than the ‘record of the case’ summary in exceptional cases.
Costs were reserved.