Dotcom hearing to start Thursday

The Herald reports:

’s extradition hearing will go ahead this week despite his protestations it should be delayed.

A hearing was held yesterday at Auckland District Court to determine the structure of proceedings over the next four weeks.

“The views of the parties are diametrically opposed,” Judge Nevin Dawson said in a judgment released yesterday afternoon.

The United States Government – represented by Crown Law – argued the extradition eligibility hearing should be heard first before multiple applications by the defendants for a stay of proceedings. …

Judge Dawson said the court had to balance the principles of the delivery of justice in a timely manner with the right of the parties to a fair hearing.

“This case has now been before this court for over three and a half years … It is now the 10th time this case has been set down for hearing,” Judge Dawson said.

The judge said the “interlocutory applications” by the defendants could be heard during the extradition hearing, rather than beforehand.

“The court would be better placed to rule on these applications having had the benefit of hearing the evidence of the eligibility hearing,” Judge Dawson said.

The US Government’s bid to extradite Dotcom will begin tomorrow.

This means that for the first time we will actually hear evidence in court from both sides on the substantive charges, rather than on related legal issues.  It will be interesting.

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