5 Dec 2018

Dotcom case rolls on in Supreme Court

3:00 pm on 5 December 2018

A lawyer for the United States says after seven years the ongoing Kim Dotcom extradition legal saga "might almost be at half-time".

Kim Dotcom at his extradition appeal at the High Court in Auckland in 2016.

Kim Dotcom at his extradition appeal at the High Court in Auckland in 2016. Photo: AFP

David Boldt was making submissions in the Wellington Supreme Court in the case's latest legal battle.

In July, the Court of Appeal ruled Kim Dotcom and his co-accused could be extradited to the US to face criminal copyright breach cases.

That followed earlier cases in the District Court and High Court which reached the same conclusion.

The men now want to appeal against that decision in the country's highest court, but Mr Boldt told the Supreme Court today there was no direct right of appeal in criminal cases such as that involving Kim Dotcom.

He said when the Dotcom case began in 2012 there was no eligibility for a third appeal to be heard in an extradition case.

"You have said before 'if it's not mentioned we are simply unable to say we have jurisdiction'.

"That contrasts with the civil jurisdiction where there is a right of appeal."

However Grant Illingworth, acting for co-accused Bram Van der Kolk and Matthias Ortmann said there was no material which supported the position Mr Boldt was taking.

He also said that the Bill of Rights gave certain guarantees to people facing extradition including that they would not be taken from this country "except on grounds prescribed by law".

"The US argument denies the Bill of Rights issue ... and also seems to be based on a false premise.

Lawyers for Kim Dotcom and Finn Batato did not make submissions themselves, simply adding their support to Mr Illingworth's points.

David Boldt said whatever the Supreme Court decides, there is still the 'surrender phase' ahead when the case is referred to the Minister of Justice for a final decision.

That process can also be the subject of Court challenges.

The Supreme Court reserved its decision.