Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Judgment on 'Record of Case': Dotcom & Ors v USA

[Judgment: SC_302013_Dotcom__Ors_v_USA.PDF]

Supreme Court of New Zealand

21 March 2014

MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION

KIM DOTCOM, FINN BATATO, MATHIAS ORTMANN AND BRAM VAN DER KOLK v UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

(SC 30/2013) [2014] NZSC 24

PRESS SUMMARY

This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment.

The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment and reasons can be found at Judicial Decisions of Public Interest www.courtsofnz.govt.nz

The government of the United States of America has requested the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Ortmann, van der Kolk and Batato to face criminal charges of copyright infringement, money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud. The charges arise out of the appellants’ alleged involvement in activities of the Megaupload group of companies.

For the purpose of the District Court hearing to determine whether the appellants are eligible for extradition, the United States has made use of the “record of the case” procedure for submitting evidence, which is provided for in s 25 of the Extradition Act 1999. The record of the case comprises a summary of the evidence that the state requesting extradition has acquired against the appellants, including: extracts from a large number of emails, data stored on servers supporting the Megaupload websites, a network analysis of how the websites operated, an analysis of relevant financial transactions, and the proposed testimony of investigators who undertook undercover activities as users of the websites and of a number of experts and copyright owners. The record of the case is relied on as establishing a prima facie case against the appellants, which is one of the requirements for eligibility for extradition.

In the District Court, the appellants sought disclosure by the United States of documents, records and information in its possession in relation to the criminal charges. A District Court Judge ordered the United States to disclose the relevant documents. The orders were upheld by the High Court, but then quashed by the Court of Appeal. The question in the appeal to the Supreme Court was whether or not the disclosure orders made by the District Court were wrongly made.

The Supreme Court has decided, by a majority comprising McGrath, William Young, Glazebrook and Blanchard JJ, that the District Court was wrong to order disclosure by the United States of the documents concerned.

McGrath, William Young, Glazebrook and Blanchard JJ have decided that s 25 of the Extradition Act does not require that a “record of the case” include copies of all documents it summarises. Nor does the Criminal Disclosure Act 2008 or s 102 of the Extradition Act impose obligations of general disclosure on a foreign state requesting extradition or confer on an extradition judge a power to order disclosure.

The majority has, however, held that a requesting state has a duty of candour and good faith to disclose any information that would render worthless or seriously undermine the evidence upon which it relies. As well, a requesting state must provide, in advance of the District Court hearing, the information on which it will rely to establish a prima facie case against the persons whose extradition has been requested. Where the record of case process is used, it is the record of the case that must be so provided. There was no suggestion that the United States had not complied with any of these obligations.

The majority has decided that the statutory powers, in the Criminal Disclosure Act, of a judge in domestic criminal proceedings are not incorporated into the Extradition Act and, accordingly, the District Court has no statutory power to make disclosure orders in extradition cases.

Finally, the majority has also held that the District Court had no inherent power to make the disclosure orders that it did in this case, because the appellants had not demonstrated that further information was necessary for the fair determination of their eligibility for surrender. The appellants already had adequate access to or knowledge of the information summarised in the record of the case.

The Chief Justice has dissented. In accordance with the views of the majority, the appeal has been dismissed.

[Judgment: SC_302013_Dotcom__Ors_v_USA.PDF]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

CPAG: Government Spends Over $100K Pursuing Beneficiary

For the past fifteen years, Kathryn, now in her fifties and living alone with chronic ill health on a benefit, has been challenging the decision by the MSD that she has to pay back $117,000. She has no assets or savings and cannot afford to pay for fresh food or therapy that would improve her health. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: National’s Cuts Shave $100K Off KiwiSaver By Retirement

New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says... Since coming to office it has made five separate cuts to the scheme." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Transport Operators Switch From SuperGold To AT HOP Cards

Seniors using Auckland’s public transport will need to use their AT HOP cards from today but Auckland Transport has requested its operators to show understanding for those customers yet to complete the switch from SuperGold cards. More>>

ALSO:

Crime Stats: Burglary Up 11.9%

“While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase of more than 10 per cent over the past 12 months, which is of concern to Police and something we are determined to tackle,” says Police Commissioner Mike Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Help: Lifeline Aotearoa Fighting For Survival

Lifeline Aotearoa has announced it only has enough money to run for one more year. By 30 June 2017, all available sustainability reserves and funds from a new mortgage on its Auckland property will be exhausted. More>>

ALSO:

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news