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High Court Decision on Dotcom v AG on Obama request




First Plaintiff


Second Plaintiff

AND THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL (on behalf of the Crown in right of New Zealand)

First Defendant


[1] The former President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, is in New Zealand for three days. The plaintiffs have filed an application for an order for his examination before a Judge while he is in New Zealand or, in the alternative for an order sending a letter of request to the judicial authorities of the United States to take his evidence in the United States.

[2] The plaintiffs also seek a further order that any order that may be made be served by way of substituted service. The application has been supported by affidavits from Mr Dotcom and Ms Ingram, a solicitor employed by Mr Dotcom’s advisers.

[3] The applications were filed late on 19 March 2018. According to press reports Mr Obama is only in New Zealand between 21 and 23 March. The application was referred to me yesterday. I convened a telephone conference this morning to deal with the application as a matter of urgency.

[4] In the limited time available Crown Law, who have represented the defendants in this proceeding, have filed a brief affidavit by Ms Regan annexing various tweets by Mr Dotcom. On behalf of the defendants Mr Lillico addressed oral submissions in opposition to the application….

… [18] For the above reasons I decline to exercise the discretion to issue a subpoena or to make a request. The application for the issue of a subpoena or letters of request is dismissed. The application for substituted service is, in the circumstances, otiose. It is also dismissed.

Full Decision.pdf

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