Dotcom legal team call for trial halt

  • 23/11/2015
Kim Dotcom (AAP)
Kim Dotcom (AAP)

Kim Dotcom's legal team say they've been ambushed by new evidence at the 11th hour and want his extradition hearing stalled mid-way through the US' closing arguments.

The German-born internet mogul and his co-accused - Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk - are accused of making US$175 million from what US authorities say is a criminal conspiracy based around file-sharing website Megaupload.

The US wants them extradited to face those charges.

Crown lawyer Christine Gordon, finishing the case for the US, said lawyers for the men had "mired" the extradition process in irrelevant and complex legal arguments.

"[They've tried to do] what has been done in the last three-and-a-half years: to conduct their trial defence through the extradition process," she said.

Dotcom himself was late to the hearing on Monday, having been delayed by police on the way, lawyer Simon Cogan said.

Asked by Judge Nevin Dawson if it was for speeding, Mr Cogan said it was all "above-board".

Ms Gordon said it didn't make sense that parliament would have wanted copyright piracy of a mass scale to go unpunished.

"It cannot be right the biggest infringers go free, while a man who peddles CDs out of his boot at a local market gets a harsh sentence," she said.

But her submission was halted when Ortmann and Van der Kolk's lawyer, Grant Illingworth, objected to the US making the "surprise" announcement it would introduce new evidence today.

"We say it's completely wrong for this to be done this way... This is an ambush situation," he said.

Judge Dawson said he would consider halting the case to give them time to review the evidence after it was presented.

Dotcom's lawyer, Ron Mansfield, had argued copyright infringement could not be prosecuted under US law.

But Ms Gordon said the men had clearly conspired to defraud copyright owners and this was covered by the extradition treaty between New Zealand and the US.

"Even the respondents used that word in referring to their activities.

"Using Mr Ortmann's words: 'we allowed fraud for a long time'," she said referring to a Skype conversation between the men.

Judge Dawson has been hearing evidence in the hearing at the Auckland District Court for 10 weeks now.

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

NZN