That orange boiler suit is getting closer for fatty

Kim Dotcom has come another step closer to an all-expenses-paid flight to the United States, cheap but robust accommodation and a new orange jumpsuit: Quote:

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has lost his latest court battle against extradition from New Zealand to the United States, setting the scene for a Supreme Court hearing.

Dotcom and three others -??Matthias?Ortmann,?Bram?van der?Kolk?and Finn?Batato – have been accused of more than a dozen criminal copyright charges relating to the now-defunct file-sharing website Megaupload?, which it is alleged shared pirated films and other content.

They face extradition to the US, which claims they were involved in a?worldwide criminal organisation that led to an?estimated loss to copyright holders of more than US$500 million.

After losing their case against extradition in the North Shore District Court, and then on appeal in the High Court, the four men had appealed to the Court of Appeal, which on Thursday rejected their arguments.

Dotcom said he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision, and would appeal it to the Supreme Court.

“My legal team are confident that the Supreme Court will hear the appeal given there are such significant legal issues at stake,” Dotcom said.

However, acting Prime Minister Winston Peters said the possibility of appealing wasn’t clear cut.

“I am told he seeks to appeal, whether he can or not is a matter of debate.”

A Court of Appeal statement?explained the appeal was declined because the United States government had sufficient evidence to warrant extradition. End quote.

Winston is right; he can only seek leave to appeal… on points of law. The District Court, the High Court and now the Court of Appeal have all said the same thing: that there are grounds to extradite him.

David Farrar helpfully summarises the findings of the Court of Appeal: Quote:

A summary of the issues is below:

Issue: is double criminality required in extradition between New Zealand and the United States?
Held: yes.? Legislative history, English and Canadian authority and principles of extradition law all suggest that the conduct with which a person is charged must be criminal under both United States and New Zealand law before they can be extradited.?? Cullinane v United States of America [2003] 2 NZLR 1 (CA) is overruled.

Issue:?was the High Court Judge correct in his findings on the extradition pathways available to the United States?
Held: yes, though for somewhat different reasons.? Section 131 of the Copyright Act 1994 could be relied on by the United States and did criminalise copyright infringement.??Accordingly, all of the pathways relied on by the United States were open.

Issue: was there sufficient evidence to make out a prima facie case of the conduct alleged against the appellants?
Held: yes.? The?evidence clearly establishes a prima facie case.? The record of case relied on by the United States is admissible and sufficient; an extradition hearing is not a trial on the merits.

Issue: should leave be granted on the additional questions of law?
Held: no.? The misconduct the appellants allege against the United States, rejected by the High Court, does not warrant a further appeal.? The evidence the appellants sought to call, that the United States allegedly prevented, is an issue for trial.?

Issue:?was judicial review correctly refused by the High Court?
Held: yes.? The judicial review almost entirely overlapped with the appeal, and arguably judicial review should not have been available to the appellants.? In any event it was correctly refused.

It is worth noting that this is not about whether Dotcom is guilty or not of the US charges. It is about whether there is enough substance to them, that he should face trial. When he is eventually extradited, he may win at trial.

The Court of Appeal also said: Quote:

We direct that the District Court should now proceed without further?delay to complete its duties under s 26 of the Extradition Act in accordance with the determination. End of quote.

I’d suggest his chances of playing the courts any further are slim.

I can hear a John Denver song winding up: