1 Oct 2015

Dotcom case: Crown finds original extradition notices

5:21 pm on 1 October 2015

The Crown has found the original notices asking for Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused to be extradited to the United States, a day after it was unable to produce them at a court hearing.

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

Kim Dotcom in court in Auckland as the main extradition hearing begins. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

A hearing is continuing to decide whether Mr Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato should be sent to the US to face copyright and money-laundering charges, related to their file-sharing website, Megaupload.

The FBI claims their Megaupload website knowingly hosted thousands of pirated movies and other files.

Yesterday, a court services manager acting as a witness for the Crown verified several documents as copies of the extradition requests.

But under cross-examination by Kim Dotcom's lawyer Ron Mansfield, she conceded the copies were not date-stamped and was unable to say whether any originals existed.

Today, the extradition hearing's court registrar, Jennifer Spence, appeared as a witness to verify the original documents.

Ms Spence said she found the originals in the judges' chambers at North Shore district court, which has jurisdiction over the extradition case.

Earlier this week, another defence lawyer questioned whether the Justice Minister at the time, Judith Collins, saw a copy of the arrest warrants before she signed off on the United States request for assistance.

Mr van der Kolk and Mr Ortmann's lawyer, Grant Illingworth, asked a Ministry of Justice witness, Charlotte Haigh whether those documents were given to Ms Collins as part of a briefing, as required by law.

Ms Haigh told the court she did not know if that had been recorded on the Ministry's file.

Justice Nevin Dawson ordered Ms Haigh to review the file and confirm whether the Minister was given the relevant information.

Radio New Zealand understands that is likely to happen early next week.

The FBI claims the Megaupload site knowingly hosted thousands of pirated movies and other files.

The Crown, which is representing the US, says the men committed large-scale wire fraud by using Paypal to pay cash rewards to users who uploaded popular files.

It says millions of dollars in illegal profits were spent over the years, including about $7.7 million on yacht rentals.

The hearing began on 21 September, and is continuing.

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