NZ court rules FBI must show Megaupload founder evidence
U.S. federal authorities wanting to extradite Kim Dotcom, the founder of the Megaupload online file-sharing site, must show evidence to back up charges of internet piracy and copyright breaches, a New Zealand court ruled on Thursday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accuses the flamboyant Dotcom of leading a group that netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorization.
New Zealand authorities arrested Dotcom, a 38-year-old German national, when they raided his rented country estate near Auckland at the FBI’s request in late January, confiscating computers and hard drives, art work and cars.
The raid and evidence seizure has already been ruled illegal and the latest decision confirms that Dotcom should be allowed to see the evidence on which the extradition hearing will be based.
"Without access to materials relevant to the extradition hearing phase, the person sought will be significantly constrained in his or her ability to participate in the hearing," Justice Helen Winkelmann said in a written judgment.
Photo Credit: (Simon Watts/Reuters)