Dotcom gets another boost in his fight against extradition to the US
Wanted man and Internet storage mogul Kim Dotcom has been granted access to evidence seized during raids on his now-defunct Megaupload service.
The New Zealand High Court said he could access all evidence taken by police in a 2012 raid, which should benefit Dotcom as he fights extradition to the US. He was accused by US authorities of copyright, fraud and money laundering offences, allegedly facilitated by Megaupload.
Any material not relevant to the case should be returned to Dotcom, otherwise known as Kim Schmitz, and a “clone” of storage devices that do contain valuable evidence should be sent to the Mega founder.
His defence lawyers had argued he was at a disadvantage in not having access to the material. Dotcom has said he should not be held accountable, as Megaupload was just a storage service and should not have be punished for what its users did.
Dotcom was arrested by New Zealand police on orders from the US, but he has repeatedly won legal tussles that have prevented his extradition.
In September last year, Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, apologised to Dotcom for unlawfully spying on him. New Zealand law prohibits spying on citizens or those who, like Dotcom, have a residence class visa.
This March, a court ruled he should be allowed to sue the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) for the surveillance operation on his communications.
Last June, a New Zealand High Court declared search warrants used in the raid on Dotcom’s mansion were “invalid”.
An extradition hearing is expected to take place in August, having initially been scheduled for March, but may be delayed again.
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