Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Granting Dotcom access to documents would leave NZ exposed

Granting Dotcom extradition documents will leave NZ standing alone, Solicitor-General says

By Paul McBeth

July 30 (BusinessDesk) - Granting internet tycoon Kim Dotcom access to documents supporting his extradition to the US would leave New Zealand as an outlier, as no other country has ever ordered that kind of disclosure, according to the Solicitor-General.

Acting ultimately on behalf of the US Federal government, Solicitor-General Mike Heron told a full Supreme Court bench no other appellant court across common law has upheld a disclosure request in the pre-trial stages, and doing so would leave New Zealand as an outlier in the international community.

“Were it to be made in this court, we would stand alone,” Heron said. “This order, is in effect, an order against a foreign state.”

Heron said the issue had been covered extensively over the past two decades and has consistently been upheld at the highest levels.

The US Federal government is seeking to extradite Dotcom and his co-accused Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk to face charges of conspiracy to operate websites used to illegally distribute copyrighted content.

The District and High Courts upheld their request for a trimmed down disclosure, though that was overturned in the Court of Appeal earlier this year.

Heron told Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias and Justices John McGrath, William Young, Susan Glazebrook and Terence Arnold the treaty governing extraditions between New Zealand and the US was to facilitate efficiency, and extra disclosure undermined that.

New Zealand courts aren’t empowered to make orders against foreign sovereign states, and if judges have any qualms about the evidence put forward, they can strike it out, make a request for more, or turn down the application, Heron said.

Earlier in the hearing, Dotcom’s counsel Paul Davison QC, told the court the extradition treaty didn’t prevent the courts from making disclosure orders, saying the legislature had kept a regulation-making ability for that very issue.

Davison said the summary of evidence would be more burdensome and onerous than handing over much of the full documentation, which in digital form was available simply by pushing a button.

Heron said Dotcom’s team had oversimplified the evidence put forward by the US government, which he said was based on undercover activity and actual emails.

“This is massive copyright and other fraud alleged,” Heron said.

The judges reserved their decision at the end of the one-day hearing.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Grey Power: Is Disappointed To Learn Of More Bank Closures

Many older people are being left without essential services because of cost cutting and the march of modern technology. It is now expected that most banking transactions can occur via the internet or telephone. Jan Pentecost, President of the Grey Power ... More>>


Economy: Supply Chain On Brink Of Overload Says National Road Carriers

The New Zealand supply chain is on the brink of overload and it looks like the upcoming peak imports season may push it over the edge says National Road Carriers Association (NRC) CEO David Aitken. “Worldwide supply chains are in disarray,” says Mr Aitken. ... More>>

Retail: Supermarkets Announced As Government’s Second Market Study

The Government has today launched a market study to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for groceries. More>>


Statistics New Zealand: Retail Sales Recover In The September 2020 Quarter

Retail sales values recorded the largest September quarter rise since the series began in 1995, Stats NZ said today. Spending on major household items, vehicles, and groceries contributed to the strong 7.4 percent ($1.8 billion) rise in total ... More>>

Kea Aerospace: New Zealand Flies Into The Stratosphere

Development has started on a solar-powered, unmanned aircraft that can fly in the stratosphere continuously for months at a time. The zero-emission aircraft will carry a suite of imagery equipment that will be game-changing for many industries, vastly ... More>>

Stats NZ: Births And Deaths: Year Ended September 2020

Births and deaths releases provide statistics on the number of births and deaths registered in New Zealand, and selected fertility and mortality rates. Key facts For the year ended September 2020: 57,753 live births and 32,670 deaths ... More>>


Forest & Bird: Kākāpō Wins Bird Of The Year 2020

The nation has voted and Aotearoa New Zealand has a new Bird of the Year. New Zealand’s moss-colored flightless parrot has climbed to the top-spot for the second time in Forest & Bird’s annual Te Manu Rongonui o Te Tau/Bird of the Year competition. ... More>>