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Dotcom & Ors v USA Disclosure)

Dotcom & Ors v USA Disclosure)

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Published by: IDG News Service on May 30, 2012
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KIM DOTCOM, MATHIAS ORTMANN, BRAM VAN DER KOLK & FINN BATATO V UNITED STATES OFAMERICA DC NSD
IN THE DISTRICT COURTAT NORTH SHOREUNDER THE EXTRADITION ACT 1999IN THE MATTER OF A REQUEST BY THE GOVERNMENT OFTHE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAFOR THE SURRENDER OF PERSONS IN NEW ZEALANDKIM DOTCOM, MATHIAS ORTMANN, BRAM VAN DER KOLK & FINN BATATO
Applicantsv
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
RespondentHearing: 18 May 2012Counsel: Mr Davison QC with him Ms Woods for Kim DotcomMr Foley for Ortmann, Van Der Kolk & BatatoMr Ruffin with him Mr Walsh for the United States of AmericaJudgment: 29 May 2012
DECISION OF HIS HONOR JUDGE DAVID J HARVEY[On application for Disclosure]
 
Contents
Introduction........................................................................................[1]The Issue.............................................................................................[5]The Background.................................................................................[10]What is Sought?..................................................................................[15]The Submissions for the Applicant.....................................................[16]Mr. Foley’s Submissions.....................................................................[71]The Argument for the United States...................................................[77]Discussion...........................................................................................[114]Extradition..............................................................................[114]The Record of the Case...........................................................[131]Criminal Proceedings and Extradition....................................[142]Powers of the Court.................................................................[151]Committal Proceedings............................................................[154]Oral Evidence Applications in Extradition Proceedings..........[159]The Nature of the Decision to be Made in Extradition Cases..[164]Engaging the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.........................[192]
 
Findings upon extradition proceedings and theapplicability of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act...............[213]The Issue of Disclosure.............................................................[215]The Scope of Disclosure...........................................................[244]Conclusion............................................................................................[259]Appendix – Documents to be Disclosed.
 
Introduction
[1]
 
In
 R v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex Parte Daly
1
LordSteyn concluded his judgment as follows: “In Law context is everything.” This casedeals with whether or not, within the context of extradition proceedings and therecord of the case evidence presentation process the applicants, Kim Dotcom and hisassociates, are entitled to disclosure of information held by the prosecutingauthorities be it of a general or a restricted nature.[2]
 
Mr Dotcom through Mr Davison and his associates through Mr Foley arguethat the context demands it. Mr Ruffin for the United States argues that the contextin this particular case, in the absence of any identified justiciable issue, means thatdisclosure is not available.[3]
 
My conclusion is that disclosure is available to a limited extent. Thatdisclosure is completely compatible with the context of extradition proceeding andthe utilisation of the record of the case procedure and in particular within the contextand factual circumstances of this case. My reasons follow and my decision isstructured in this way.[4]
 
I commence by identifying the issue and give some of the background to thiscase. I then identify what it is that is sought by the applicants and summarise thearguments advanced by Mr Davison and Mr Foley, followed by a summary of thearguments advanced by Mr Ruffin. I then move to a discussion of the matters arguedin the context of the law and the issues to be decided. I start with a consideration of the extradition process, discuss the record of the case (ROC) process and considerthe powers of the Court, especially within the context of committal proceedings andwhether an oral evidence application needs to be made in extradition proceedings. Ithen consider the nature of the decision to be made in extradition cases and whetheror not the provisions of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA) areengaged. I then moved to the principal issue – that of whether disclosure is availableas against the contextual background discussed, consider the scope of disclosure andthen identify the disclosure that should be made.
1
[2001] UKHL 26; [2001] AC 532

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