New Zealand legal blow for Kim Dotcom
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, shown July 3, 2013, has suffered a legal setback when New Zealand's top court ruled US authorities seeking his extradition do not have to reveal all the evidence they have against him - by Marty Melville
The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from Dotcom's lawyers, who argued they could not effectively fight the German national's extradition for alleged online piracy without full disclosure of the evidence against him.
Lawyers representing the United States had countered that the evidence could include huge volumes of emails and further delay Dotcom's extradition hearing, now scheduled for July.
The court agreed that a summary of the case would suffice, overturning an earlier District Court ruling that prosecutors had to hand over all their evidence.
"The Supreme Court has decided... that the District Court was wrong to order disclosure by the United States of the documents concerned," it said in a statement.
Dotcom expressed disappointment at the decision, but was pleased that Chief Justice Sian Elias said in a dissenting judgment that she would have granted the appeal and ordered disclosure.
"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent," Dotcom tweeted.
It is the second legal reversal in as many months for Dotcom, after an appeals court overturned a ruling that an armed police raid on his Auckland mansion in January 2012 was illegal because the search warrants used were too wide-ranging.
The US Justice Department and FBI allege Dotcom's Megaupload file-sharing sites netted more than $175 million in criminal proceeds, and cost copyright owners more than $500 million by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content.
Dotcom denies any wrongdoing and remains free on bail in New Zealand, where he has launched another file-sharing venture called Mega.
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