Dotcom expected to hear fate

  • 24/11/2015
(File)
(File)

A judge is expected to soon begin deciding if Kim Dotcom and his co-accused should be sent to the United States to stand trial for a string of criminal charges.

That is, if the tech mogul's lawyers don't win a bid for an 11th-hour delay.

Judge Nevin Dawson has been hearing arguments about whether Dotcom and his three co-accused - Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato - should be extradited to face charges over their part in the running of file-sharing website Megaupload.

Today, Crown lawyer Christine Gordon, is expected to wrap up the US's case before Judge Dawson starts making his decision.

But yesterday, lawyer Grant Illingworth made a last-minute appeal for a delay, saying Ms Gordon had "ambushed" his clients with new evidence in her closing.

He asked for time to review the file - or for it to be thrown out altogether.

One of Dotcom's lawyers, Simon Cogan, pointed out Crown lawyers had the document last week, but had not made it available until yesterday morning's session.

The evidence related to interpretations of various laws relating to the extradition and previous cases.

Judge Nevin Dawson allowed the evidence to be heard, but is expected to today rule whether time should be given to the defence.

If he does so, the end of the case could be pushed back again.

Dubbed the "Mega Conspiracy" by the FBI, US authorities say Dotcom and his associates were involved in an organised criminal enterprise - centred on copyright violation through Megaupload - which allegedly earned them US$175 million (NZ$266 million).

They face charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and two kinds of criminal copyright infringement based on an FBI investigation going back to 2010.

If extradited and found guilty, the four could face decades in jail.

The hearing is now in its tenth week.

NZN