Dotcom decision today

The Herald reports:

Merry Christmas – you could be in jail on December 25.

No he won’t be. I do wish the Herald wouldn’t feel the need to sensationalise. There’s a 15 day appeal period. I can’t imagine there is any chance bail will be revoked until appeals are done.

The Courts of New Zealand website has just forecast that a decision is coming tomorrow in the Megaupload extradition case.

It said through its Twitter account that the “USA v Dotcom & Ors decision will be delivered” tomorrow afternoon by district court judge Nevin Dawson.

While being picky the website doesn’t have a twitter account. The Department of Courts does.

The decision comes after a two-month hearing in which the United States put forward its application to have Dotcom and three others arrested in New Zealand in 2012 extradited to face criminal copyright and related charges.

Dotcom and the other – Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato – have strenuously denied the charges, which were connected to the operation of the Megaupload filesharing business operating out of Hong Kong. The business was one of the most popular on the internet, and carried popular movies and music.

Judge Dawson’s decision will reveal whether he considers the required level of evidence has been produced to show there is a case for the men to answer in the US.

If Dotcom loses tomorrow he will no doubt blame some global conspiracy. But the reality is he has had every opportunity to make his case that there is no evidence of offending. He had 50 days of courtroom argument where his lawyers put up every argument imaginable, and the Judge hearing the case has considered them all.

If the judge does find he should be extradited, that does not mean he is guilty. It simply means that there is enough evidence to warrant him being sent to the US to stand trial. And no doubt in the US he will also have a legion of highly paid lawyers arguing he has done nothing wrong. And he may win in US court.

Of course it is possible the NZ Judge will decide he is not eligible for extradition, and if so then he can stay in NZ.

No doubt if he loses, he will appeal. But you can only appeal the decision on a matter of law, and to the High Court only. However there may be other aspects of the court process that can be appealed higher, and no doubt they will be.

At the end this is a matter of law, not politics. We have an extradition treaty with the US and many other countries. This is what allows people who commit crimes in NZ, to be returned to us to face trial, and vice-versa.

I’ll do an update once we hear the decision.

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