Monday morning, Kim Dotcom arrived at court dressed in his trademark black attire. After ten delays the hearing to determine whether the Megaupload founder will be extradited to the United States on copyright infringement charges got underway.
Almost immediately the case became bogged down in legal argument, with the defense insisting that various submissions should be heard before the extradition hearing gathered full steam. Due to Dotcom’s funds being seized by the FBI, unfair restrictions had been placed on the ability to mount a defense, they argued.
Christine Gordon QC, countering for the Crown, said that the claims of Dotcom’s team were “speculative” and would only serve to delay proceedings by several weeks. Any applications should be part of the main hearing or included at trial in the United States, Gordon argued.
This morning Judge Nevin Dawson handed down his decision and it represents an early setback for Dotcom and his former Megaupload colleagues.
“The interlocutory applications now before the Court are such that they would best be heard and considered by the Court during the eligibility hearing as they are largely contextual in nature,” Judge Dawson begins.
“The Court would be better placed to rule on these applications, having had the benefit of hearing the evidence of the eligibility hearing.”
Judge Dawson said that all matters would be fully heard and both parties would have a right of appeal in the event they were dissatisfied with the outcome.
“If [Dotcom et al] are successful in their applications that might lead to an adjournment or conclusion of the hearing. The respondents would suffer no prejudice if either of these outcomes should come about. All parties ultimately have their rights of appeal,” Judge Dawson concludes.
The eligibility hearing will now go ahead on Thursday morning.