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Kim Dotcom Denied Access to US Extradition Evidence by NZ Top Court

| 21 Mar 2014 13:42
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"Being defeated is often a temporary condition," says Dotcom. "Giving up is what makes it permanent."

Kim Dotcom has suffered a major reverse in his bid to stave off US extradition. In a 4 to 1 ruling, the New Zealand Supreme Court has said that Dotcom may not have access to the US evidence against him and his co-defendants. All of Dotcom's data was taken away in the January 2012 armed raid on his property, and it's that data which US authorities are relying on to make their case. After the raid the FBI took possession, and once that happened there was no chance of getting it back to prepare a defence, unless NZ courts compelled it. The extradition hearing is set for July 2014.

"The US has been given a free ride to cherry pick whatever allegations they want," says Ira Rothken, Dotcom's American lawyer. "Now, there's not an even playing field in the extradition proceeding." Chief Justice Sian Elias cast the dissenting vote, arguing that the law as written required that a defendant has a right to access to the documents relied on to establish an extradition charge. Any deficiency had to be fixed, Elias went on to argue, if the Minister wished to rely on those documents to prove an extradition case.

Dotcom's not happy right now, but takes comfort in the Chief Justice's dissenting vote. He's not giving up yet, and has already pledged to appeal against the court ruling that said the raid on his mansion was legal.

Should the US extradition proceed, Dotcom - and his three co-accused Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram Van der Kolk - will face copyright infringement allegations, as well as money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud charges.

Source: Ars Technica

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