New setback for Dotcom in his fight against extradition to the US

Twice during 2012 the New Zealand courts have supported Dotcom’s request for full access to all of the evidence held by the US. But the US insists there is no right to such access, and appealed the decisions. Today the Court of Appeal has agreed, saying that the US had a duty of ‘candor and good faith’ over the extradition bid, but that a summary of the evidence would suffice. The argument is that since an extradition hearing is not a trial, the rigorous procedures appropriate for the latter are not necessary in this instance. 

Dotcom’s lawyers are expected to appeal the ruling. "How can you determine whether or not there has been compliance with candor and good faith if you don't know what documents are being relied on to support the case?" said William Akel, one of Dotcom's lawyers, on Radio New Zealand (Reuters).

Meanwhile Dotcom’s legal team has received an international boost: London (and Washington) lawyers Amsterdam & Partners and Paris-based Ichay & Mullenex have both agreed to work with the US Rothken Law Firm, apparently pro bono until Dotcom regains his money. In a breakfast meeting that Dotcom attended by video link, Robert Amsterdam said, “We are living in an era of unsurpassed extra-legality. We are in what legal theoreticians would call a ‘permanent emergency’. Since 9/11, laws are being made at a record pace, and they are destroying what’s left of our rights.” (TechWeek)

“We have watched the US promote its cultural industries through overbroad copyright enforcement and argue this precedent [Megaupload] stifle their own speech,” he added.

Dotcom’s extradition hearing is set for 25 March.

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