22 Oct 2015

Dotcom case: Govt trying to 'curry favour' with Hollywood

5:44 pm on 22 October 2015

Kim Dotcom's lawyer has accused the government of aiding his arrest and attempted extradition in order to "curry favour" with Hollywood.

Kim Dotcom in court in Auckland as the main extradition hearing begins on 24 September 2015.

Kim Dotcom at the start of the main extradition hearing. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The hearing to decide whether the internet businessman should be sent to the United States to face charges has dragged to the end of its fifth week, with no end yet in sight.

The Crown, which is acting for the US, is attempting to block the second of three applications from the men to pause or even halt the proceedings.

The men argue the Crown acted unlawfully and unreasonably, and the only remedy was to end the extradition attempt.

Mr Dotcom's lawyer, Ron Mansfield, told the court the entire prosecution "was commenced for the improper purpose of the United States government mollifying a key benefactor ... the Hollywood studios".

The New Zealand government was "only too eager to please" and had gone along with various requests from the US, Mr Mansfield said.

None of the allegations Mr Mansfield made in court today were new - Mr Dotcom has long argued that he has been made a scapegoat by the movie industry.

Mr Mansfield repeated claims - first aired last year - that the Government granted Mr Dotcom permanent residency in October 2010, because it would be easier for the US to extradite him from New Zealand than Hong Kong, where he had previously been living.

That was despite Immigration being aware of the FBI interest in Mr Dotcom - something that would normally be grounds to place a residency application on hold.

The US and the Crown had acted illegally or unreasonably at every turn, Mr Mansfield said.

"Examples of this include the admitted unlawful spying on and the collection of evidence from Mr Dotcom ... the unlawful removal of exhibits, computer clones, from the New Zealand to the United States... [and] the extravagant, public and entirely unreasonable search of [Mr Dotcom's] home."

The US had failed to properly preserve servers that contained evidence, and had gained various court orders to prevent Mr Dotcom from using his restrained assets to fund his defence, he said.

The hearing will continue on Tuesday.