New Zealand's High Court Steps Into Extradition Fight Over Kim Dotcom

from the not-so-simple dept

As the Justice Department continues to pretend there's nothing strange at all about its highly questionable tactics in shutting down Megaupload and having its executives arrested, the courts are still struggling with the details. A few weeks back, we noted that a judge in New Zealand rejected the US's demand that New Zealand merely rubberstamp an extradition order to the US, despite there being numerous questions over the case itself and whether or not extradition is appropriate. As part of that, the judge also ordered the US Attorneys to hand over the evidence they're using to make the case against Dotcom and his colleagues, such that they can properly respond to the evidence. The US, as you might expect has gone absolutely ballistic about this, insisting that such an effort is impossible -- and that "it would take at least two months" to get the evidence together.

Of course, to some of us, that suggests that the DOJ hasn't yet looked at the evidence -- and thus it shut down the company and arrested its staff first, without even knowing if a crime had been committed.

Either way, that months-long delay presented a problem, since New Zealand had scheduled the extradition hearing for August 6th, and the Megaupload legal team deserved some time with the evidence to formulate its defense. The latest, however, is that New Zealand's High Court has agreed to an "urgent review" of the original ruling. The court also told the US to start the process of putting together the evidence to hand over to Dotcom's lawyers, but that it can wait until the High Court has reviewed the case before actually handing them over.

No matter what, this is once again showing the US's hubris in this case -- assuming it could waltz into New Zealand, with highly questionable evidence, shut down a company, and extradite the executives to the US without anyone asking questions. With each move in this case, more questions are raised about the competence of the DOJ staff who worked on this case, led by Neil MacBride -- a former "anti-piracy VP" for the copyright industries, who may have let his biases and previous (and future?) employers' interests get the best of him.

Filed Under: copyright, doj, evidence, extradition, high court, kim dotcom, neil macbride, new zealand, us
Companies: megaupload

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  1. icon
    G Thompson (profile), 17 Jun 2012 @ 2:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Understand exactly what the DOJ is appealing

    Normally you would be correct, except that under extradition laws (and especially in this case since the originating Judge is highly informed about digital evidence) the plaintiff which is the NZ prosecution acting as a representative in an administrative function (not plaintiff at all nor amicus, it's more as counsel) has to prove since it's upon criminal charges that the extradition is for, that there is enough weight for a trier of facts to accept that a criminal offence on balance should be tried under the reciprocity that is absolute in extradition treaties.

    For this to occur the trier (in this case the judge and not a jury) is wondering why "procedural fairness" in both it's shapes has not even been seen to be done. This is where the US legal system (and the USJ and people here fall down) Procedural fairness is a absolute and MUST be shown to occur. It's more than due process it's a state of English law that is older than the US Constitution.

    For this to occur a defendant has to be able to face their accusers and the prosecution has to be shown to be impartial allowing all facts and other matters to be available to the defence.

    It might not be up to NZ to try the case, but it is absolutely up to NZ to make sure the case before it is tried conforms to all and every procedural fairness doctrine that is under NZ law.

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