Dotcom wins bid for extradition evidence to prevent 'unfair hearing'
By Paul McBeth
Aug. 16 (BusinessDesk) - Megaload founder Kim Dotcom has won access to extradition evidence held by the US government to prevent him facing an "unfair trial" in the High Court in Auckland today.
Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann granted Dotcom and his co-accused access to the evidence to ensure he gets a fair hearing. In May, the US government was ordered to disclose the documents in the High Court, but this was challenged by way of judicial review, which Judge Winkelmann ruled on today.
"The hearing can be kept within its proper bounds by controlling the evidence to be called," the judgment said. "To attempt to control it by severely constraining the information available to the person sought is to use a very blunt instrument and risks an unfair hearing."
Dotcom, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk face 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.
The extradition hearing was scheduled to take place this month, but has been delayed until March next year.