Eight weeks to appeal the Dotcom extradition decision


In December, Judge Nevin Dawson ruled there was a case to answer in the copyright violation, money laundering and racketeering charges brought by the US government against the Megaupload founders: Mr Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato.

After 10 weeks of hearings and many hundreds of pages of submissions in the Auckland District Court, the “overwhelming preponderance” of evidence against the men established a prima facie case, Judge Dawson said, with all four eligible for extradition on all counts.

The four were charged by the US government in 2012 of conspiracy to operate websites used to distribute copyrighted material illegally.

All maintain they are innocent but the FBI says they generated $US175 million in criminal proceeds.

They are appealing their case before Justice Raynor Asher in an eight-week fixture.

This Monday it is all on, and it will continue for nearly two months.  No doubt there will be a reserved decision, so we may not really know what will happen to our jolly “Internet entrepreneur” until December or later.

You have to feel for poor Asher J.

To be in the same room with Mr Dotcom for eight hours would be bad enough.  Eight weeks will be torture, especially as it will involve the most obscure legal arguments known to man.


  • XCIA

    I hope the god of Justice smiles favourably upon us and sends his corpulent bottom to the land of orange jump suits where he can enjoy a white Christmas far, far away from us.

  • sandalwood789

    Someone please wake me up when it’s all over (after another 10 years of appeal after appeal…..).

  • Sally

    What will be guaranteed
    a. One large comfortable chair in courtroom
    b. KDC will not be in attendance all the time
    c. There will be a circus outside the courthouse, and probably inside as well
    d. We, as in the public, will not be served with the full facts by the media.

  • McGrath

    Is this the final appeal stage, or can his appeal go higher still?

    • RoboRob

      My understanding (from others on this site) is that this is by no means the final appeal stage and that is practically gauranteed to go to the supreme court. It’s a shame we just can’t jump straight to the highest court in this case :)

      My biggest issue is the amount of time between court sessions. Why did w have to wait soo long for this appeal and why is the next appeal likely to be something like June next year.

      John banks has had his case, served his time and won his appeal all since the ‘dot crim’ extradition began.

    • peterwn

      Can go to Appeal Court, Supreme Court and then judicial review can be sought on the Minister’s sign-off in the High Court which could also be appealed to Court of appeal and Supreme Court. Following the High Court appeal, any subsequent appeals would need to be on tightly defined points of law and the Supreme Court would probably say ‘enough is enough’ unless the points of law subject to appeal are of general concern.

      • RoboRob

        Heh much better reply than mine !

        Any idea why it has too take 6+ mths between appeals? Surely if you are appealing a point of law it shouldn’t take that long to prepare your case.

        It seems like his Lawyers are just using the system to keep him in the country as long as possible. Surely the judges could speed this up and still have a ‘fair’ hearing?

        • biscuit barrel

          The clue is in this ‘ 8 week fixture’. It takes both sides much longer to prepare and fitting that length in the civil court fixtures. If you have a one or 2 days appeal its quicker

          • RoboRob

            Agreed. However why it needs to be 8 weeks is a mystery and additionally, if we can all see that this appeal is going to be appealed again, why cant the cour system provisionally book a slot for the next appeal. I.e. don’t wait until Feb 2017 (Dec verdict followed by holidays) to start booking the next appeal, provisionally book it now.

          • biscuit barrel

            Certainly the crown will appeal if it loses. Do you think they should ?

          • RoboRob

            Certainly the crown should appeal if they believe there is a legal problem with the verdict. If Dotcom wins his appeal and the extradition is overturned I would only want the crown to appeal if they felt there had been an error in law. Not becuase they didn’t get the outcome they wanted.

            My problem is that it appears Dotcom is using the design of our legal system as a way to stay here as long as possible.

          • biscuit barrel

            We you also consider the emails discovered at the immigration service where the FBI and police were involved and others were asking ‘whats the hold up with processing his residency’
            Under our normal circumstances at the time, he should never have got residency because of previous convictions.
            It could be said that the US exerted pressure to get his residency approved and now is putting pressure to make sure he is extradited despite many court decisions going his way.

  • Jimmie

    The KDC extradition saga is like a pensioner who catches a lingering cold they can never quite get over.

    They improve a little bit and then every several months it lapses into another outbreak of coughing and phlegm; I predict such an outbreak of Dotcommonia hitting the public consciousness this coming week.

    Why an extradition hearing should take so long is an indictment on the NZ justice system – should take no more than 2-3 months at the most.

  • iera

    I have always wanted to know –
    Was no charge, whatever may have been appropriate, over the possible use of a fraudulent document (the “Warners’ email) to pervert the cause of an Election, not made because it was undesirable to have any additional issues to be considered in the face of an extradition?

    • Jimmie

      I think in all respects many in NZ (hint hint lefties) have found out that Dotcom is a bit like the shiny Red Apple you see that looks so juicy and appetizing.

      However when you sink your teeth into it you find to your horror that the polished exterior is nought but a shiny facade.

      Once through the surface the meat of the fruit is indeed rotten and repulsive to the senses and has caused many a tummy upset.

      • Day Day

        But have they genuinely learned anything from all this? Unlikely.

    • AC

      Then he could have elected to hear that charge first and appeal it forever. The process would been even longer.

  • Aucky

    An eight week hearing in the High Court? What will that cost the long suffering taxpayer?

    • RoboRob

      It should, but won’t, all come out of dot crims pocket (if he looses).

      Perhaps someone will start a give a little page for Dotcom :)

      • Tracy

        But then he will plead poverty and not be able to pay anyway.

        • biscuit barrel

          I understand he has the money. You might ask why the poor suffering taxpayer has to pay for this instead.
          “The Crown is appealing against the High Court’s decision to throw Kim Dotcom a bone by releasing a portion of his frozen funds to help cover mounting legal fees.”

          You have to remember the Crown appeals whenever it loses any legal argument in this case.

        • Mick Ie

          Even If he pleads poverty, I still can’t see him moving out of the Hilton Penthouse he’s currently renting.

  • Tracy

    This whole thing is becoming a farce. 8 week trial is insane, what can they possibly say that they have not already said in previous hearings? Can’t wait to see what KDC’s next excuses are.

  • Raibert

    Can’t we ask the Americans to act like Israelis and kidnap him? He’d get his real day in court in the USA instead of this embarrassing stalling process which the NZ legal system is enabling.
    Issue is – does he have a case to answer in the USA, I think most people in NZ think so. Why are we trying to determine his guilt or not, surely this is for a US court.

    • biscuit barrel

      The basic issue is that copy right piracy isnt a crime you can be extradited for, so the US has made up his crime from their racketeering laws. The evidence would seem to be circumstantial
      As well the US is not providing any evidence of the case against him, in spite of our courts saying they should.
      Thats was until the Crown appealed that in the Court of Appeal.

      So you can see that the Crown seems to be just as eager to appeal as KDC, and you have to wonder about our priorities. Heinous criminals in NZ can do plea bargains and Crown law agrees to avoid the cost of a trial and an unimportant to us case gets appealed over every point ?

      • Bling Bling

        RICO is in fact not applicable to KDC. Biscuit Barrel is right on the piracy issue. There is a point of principle here for others irrespective what people think of KDC. Odious as KDC maybe one has to look past him and at the precedent set and our legal sovereignty. Remember the FBI got hard drives out of NZ contrary to Court orders. That is hardly coming to Court with clean hands is it. That is the US justice system simply is not fair. The US has used “lawfare” in Australia to shut down an internet provider. Is that to say that only US corporations can make mega bucks? Remember too that Hollywood was going to do a deal with Megaupload at one point. So if h deal and been done we would not have tis epic drama not the go, right? Other US extradition cases, e.g. one from the UK, leave the defendant improvised and facing a plea deal of either say 5 years or 50 + if one goes to trial. That is incarceration without a trial.

  • zotaccore

    KDC of course wants this to drag out to the next election so that he can try to hijack it again. For him, staying in NZ for the rest of his life is the final solution for himself – there is no other option available. Being involved in politics, heavily, is a means of trying to garner support for him staying. However, NZ is a victim of its own making by not speeding up proceedings expeditiously – they can do it, but don’t have the will to do it.

    • biscuit barrel

      See notes about how many times Crown has appealed over various points

  • Rightsideofthebed

    I always understood that appeals were on points of law and that you couldn’t re-litigate the entire experience. Can someone please explain to me how the appeal is an 8 week circus following a 10 week hearing?? The only thing more ludicrous is if the appeal was longer than the substantive hearing.

    What absolute nonsense, too, that the US should have to present evidence at the hearing (as demanded by Dotcom’s lawyers). They have to present their prima facie case in the US to get the warrant on which the extradition request is based. They then are not required to prove their case just so they can get the accused (who could at any time travel to the US and present himself but refuses to and is therefore viewed as a fugitive) in Court to prove their case again!

    • biscuit barrel

      The the trial part. Once you get to appeal you certainly can re-litigate your previous appeal points or add new ones. I think its only at Supreme Court where they can narrow the appeal to certain points.

  • Digger

    Man up and face the music.