Yes, it’s that time again – another Kim Dotcom hearing and plenty of social media carry-on to meet the American attempts to carry the big man off.
The latest brouhaha involves a late bid by the Megaupload founder, to have his extradition case live streamed online, which may yet occur.
The current case, set down for eight weeks, is appealing the exhaustive decision of Judge Nevin Dawson and Kim Dotcom is appealing together with Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato.
Judge Dawson found there was an “overwhelming preponderance” of evidence against the men to establish a prima facie case in a decision last December.
The case has also hit the internet hard with the Washington Post, Huffington Post and other major media reporting and tweeting the renewed battle between Dotcom and the American authorities who seek to have him extradicted to face copyright and other charges.
The defendants face charges of conspiracy to operate websites used to distribute copyrighted material illegally. All maintain they are innocent but the FBI says they generated $US175 million in criminal proceeds.
Lawyer for Messrs Ortmann and van der Kolk, Grant Illingworth QC, told Justice Murray Gilbert in the High Court at Auckland at yesterday’s opening date that that it was a “classic case of one that has gone off the rails.”
Attacking the Dawson decision as one that showed “disinterest” in the arguments advanced by his clients, Grant Illingworth indicated he was seriously contesting the decision, while Dotcom’s lawyer, Ron Mansfield faced the live streaming decision, which Justice Gilbert criticised for its lateness.
Ron Mansfield said the streaming would be done on YouTube, have a 10-minute delay to ensure sensitive information could be censored, and would adhere to court and media guidelines, claiming the screening was necessary due to the high public interest in the case locally and internationally.
Justice Gilbert may not have been impressed by the Twitter-flutters that accompanied the Dotcom hearing, as always – such as –
But the international interest was retweeted with abandon by Defendant One, also –