Dotcom absent as trial drags on

  • 16/10/2015
Kim Dotcom/ (AAP)
Kim Dotcom/ (AAP)

There's no end in sight for Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing - scheduled to end today - and even his lawyers aren't sure what's happening.

Judge Nevin Dawson is hearing evidence in Auckland District Court on whether Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk should be surrendered to US authorities over their part in the running of file-sharing website Megaupload.

The hearing began properly on September 24 and hundreds of pages of FBI evidence supporting the case for extradition, presented by Christine Gordon QC, were heard.

However two weeks into the hearing, Dotcom's lawyer Ron Mansfield asked the court to consider an application to pause the case or throw it out all together, before they replied to the US evidence.

He said the FBI had made it impossible for the four men to respond to the US case properly because they were unable to hire necessary legal and industry experts, due to a freeze on any money going to the United States.

The group's lawyers are expected to present submissions on two further points as part of their application, which allowing time for a Crown response, could take several weeks.

Mr Mansfield said today he and his colleagues had filed memorandums with Judge Dawson yesterday, asking for an indication of how long the case would take.

He was due at a jury trial in Nelson at the start of November, he said, but the hearing looked likely to continue into that month.

Dotcom himself did not appear in court today in spite of requirements to do so, causing Judge Dawson to demand an explanation.

Mr Mansfield apologised and said his client had been awake all night with back pain, which was "causing him significant grief".

He was excused from appearing for the day.

The extradition hearing itself has been delayed 10 times, as related legal action wound its way through the courts.