Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his alleged co-conspirators have been thrown a lifeline in their ongoing extradition battle in New Zealand. Previously it was decided that Dotcom could not examine the mountains of evidence being withheld by U.S. authorities, but the Supreme Court has now granted an appeal, so the matter can be settled at the country’s highest court.
Since early last year Kim Dotcom and the rest of the “Mega Conspiracy” have been accused by the U.S. Government of running a criminal operation.
Despite the severity of the charges, Megaupload’s legal team does not have insight into all of the relevant documents relied on by the U.S. Government when it came to that conclusion.
Through the New Zealand courts Dotcom and his fellow defendants have requested access to the withheld information. To mount a proper defense they want to see the extent to which the U.S. authorities can back up their criminal charges.
On two earlier occasions, including once in the High Court, Dotcom’s legal team were granted full access to the U.S. evidence. However, in March these rulings were overturned by the Court of Appeal, which concluded that the United States could move forward with a summary case.
After the defeat Dotcom and his legal team quickly filed for an appeal at the Supreme Court, which was granted a few hours ago. This means that Megaupload has another shot at getting insight into crucial evidence.
“I am looking forward to the NZ Supreme Court review in our case and getting the discovery needed for a fair extradition hearing,” Dotcom commented on the news.
If the Supreme Court sides with Kim Dotcom and his associates, the evidence disclosed would be hugely helpful in ongoing legal battles on multiple continents. This includes the pending extradition battle in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Megaupload’s lawyers haven’t been sitting still. In the United States they have a request pending to dismiss the case against the company, and last week two of their top lawyers released a white paper accusing the Obama administration of taking instructions from Hollywood.
Over in Europe, Germany was also added to the mix, with Megaupload lawyer Robert Amsterdam asking the Government there to intervene. Amsterdam argues that the human rights of Dotcom, a German citizen, have been violated by the U.S., and he wants the authorities to raise this issue in Washington.
Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing in New Zealand is currently scheduled to take place in August this year, but that date could be further delayed now the Supreme Court has taken up the case.