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US must share MegaUpload evidence with Dotcom, court confirms

By | Published on Friday 17 August 2012

Kim Schmitz

MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz does have the right to see all the evidence the US has amassed against him before fighting his extradition case in New Zealand, an Auckland court confirmed yesterday.

A New Zealand judge previously ordered in May that the US authorities leading the case against Dotcom, MegaUpload and six other former executives from the company must share all the evidence they have gathered, but representatives for the prosecution said doing so would be time-consuming, because they have so much of it.

They then appealed the order. But this week, Judge Helen Winkelmann said in a written statement that without access to the evidence Dotcom’s defence at his extradition hearing would be “significantly constrained”.

As previously reported, the US authorities want to extradite Dotcom and three other former Mega execs currently in New Zealand so that they can face charges of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering in the American courts. The extradition hearing was originally due to take place this month, but was postponed to next March, for various reasons, including the dispute over the sharing of evidence.

Presumably the US will now have to gather all their evidence together and hand it over.