Kim Dotcom Case to Be Reviewed By New Zealand's Supreme Court

2012-16 TOC Kim Dotcom Illustration P IPAD
Illustration: Tim McDonagh

"He drives fast cars. He seems to always have a cadre of women around him," says reality TV producer Joe Carbone of Kim Dotcom. "But at every turn in this guy's life, he left a wake of destruction."

Kim Dotcom will be leaving his expansive mansion in New Zealand in an effort to gain U.S. government documents as he gears up to fight his extradition.

In March, a New Zealand appeals court overturned a lower court judge and ruled that the U.S. doesn't have to turn over documents connected to its attempt to show that Dotcom participated in a "mega conspiracy."

On Thursday, the country's Supreme Court granted leave so that Dotcom may challenge that assessment. According to local press, no date has yet been set for the hearing.

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Dotcom's extradition hearing is currently scheduled for August.

In March, an appeals court gave the U.S. government a win by not only denying the defense team's requests to obtain much of the evidence supporting Dotcom's alleged participation in copyright infringement and racketeering, but also made key guidance on what to expect at the extradition hearing.

The appeals judges noted at the time, "Although the extradition process is an important element of the system of criminal justice, it is wrong to equate it with the criminal trial process."

It was added that the purpose of an extradition hearing is only a "limited weighing of evidence," with Dotcom limited to challenging any abuse in the process.

Attorneys for Dotcom have been hoping to make the case that the U.S. government doesn't have enough evidence to show the kind of intent that would make the Megaupload founder guilty of criminal copyright infringement.

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During earlier proceedings, a lower court judge seemed to indicate some sympathy for this point of view, writing at one point, "This is a case that is more complex than many....The United States is attempting to utilise concepts from the civil copyright context as a basis for the application of criminal copyright liability which necessitates a consideration of principles such as the dual use of technology or what may be described as significant non-infringing uses."

The New Zealand government is taking the U.S.'s view of the extradition proceeding, and it will be arguing against Dotcom's lawyers at the forthcoming hearing at the Supreme Court.

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