Megaupload's Kim Dotcom gets access to documentary evidence against him

The application before a New Zealand court for the disclosure of information was opposed by the U.S.

A court in New Zealand has granted Kim Dotcom, founder of the Megaupload file-sharing site, access to documents which contain evidence against him, and are held by prosecuting authorities both in New Zealand and the U.S.

"A denial of the provision of information that could enable a proper adversarial hearing in my view would amount to a denial of the opportunity to contest and that would effectively mean that the process is one sided...," District Court Judge David J. Harvey said in his ruling on Tuesday.

"In my view there must be fairness at the hearing and a balance must be struck, otherwise the ROC (record of case) becomes dominant virtually to the exclusion of everything else and places the extradition process in danger of becoming an administrative one rather than judicial," he added.

U.S. prosecutors filed in March papers at the North Shore District Court in Auckland, seeking the extradition of Dotcom and three colleagues, who are charged in the U.S. with allegedly running a criminal enterprise responsible for online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works. An extradition hearing has been set for August 6.

Dotcom claimed that he was entitled to disclosure in the particular circumstances of the case, irrespective of whether general disclosure is required in extradition cases more generally. The application was opposed by the U.S. government.

The documents that are sought relate to charges against Dotcom of criminal breach of copyright, money laundering, racketeering, and wire fraud.

All of Dotcom's information and records were contained on computers or on servers which were removed from his premises or his control as the result of the actions of the New Zealand police and the U.S. authorities in other countries in January, Judge Harvey said. Dotcom simply does not have access to information which may assist him in preparation for trial, he added.

Dotcom and colleagues, and two companies including Megaupload, were indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia on Jan. 5, and charged with engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement and money laundering, and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.



Dotcom and colleagues Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk were arrested in Auckland by New Zealand authorities, who executed provisional arrest warrants requested by the U.S.

In considering the documents that could be made available to Dotcom, Judge Harvey however ruled against a request by Dotcom's counsel that disclosure should include all investigative records including but not limited to notebooks, the notes and records of communications by which investigators obtained, received or recorded material and information relevant to the investigation.

"In my view this goes beyond the limited scope of disclosure anticipated for the purposes of conducting a proper and informative extradition hearing," the Judge said. He however allowed access to documents relating to criminal breach of copyright, money laundering, racketeering, and wire fraud.

The disclosure is to be made within 21 days of the date of the ruling. Counsels for both sides could not be immediately reached for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?