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Friday, March 21, 2014

Kim Dotcom loses key evidence battle at NZ Supreme Court


New Zealand’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Kim Dotcom’s legal team, which was seeking full access to US-gathered evidence against his client before proceeding with his extradition case.

Dotcom, who made a fortune through his file-sharing website Megaupload, is fighting extradition to the United States, where he is charged with facilitating copyright infringement on a massive scale. They say the site caused $500 million in damages to copyright holders and generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds.
The internet mogul’s extradition case is yet to be heard, but the US acting through New Zealand’s prosecutors refused to provide his lawyers full access to evidence against him, arguing that a legal summary would be sufficient.

The defense team secured rulings from a District Court and the High Court ordering a full disclosure of evidence, but they were overturned last year at a Court of Appeals.
Dotcom appealed to the Supreme Court, but the judges upheld the ban on Friday, endorsing the prosecutor’s argument that New Zealand’s extradition laws do not require a full disclosure. The judges agreed that allowing full access to the evidence could bog down the extradition process.

Dotcom’s appeal was dismissed in a 4-1 majority decision, with Chief Justice Sian Elias dissenting.
The German-born businessman’s first reaction to the ruling was a sad face tweet. He later pledged to keep on fighting.

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