A prima facie case can be made for the extradition of Kim Dotcom and others associated with the download site Mega, according to a New Zealand district court judge.
We're indebted to the Twitter stream of Radio New Zealand reporter Kate Newton for the news, as she attended today's hearing in Auckland.
Newton reported that the hearing was delayed for a few minutes because a stapler malfunction, but that Judge Dawson was quickly into stride and declined the stay applications preventing extradition.
Delay in start was due to a court stapling machine malfunction, Judge Dawson says #Dotcom— Kate Newton (@katenewtonnz) December 23, 2015
Judge Dawson says a prima facie case has been established #Dotcom— Kate Newton (@katenewtonnz) December 23, 2015
The men's families are crying in the public gallery #Dotcom— Kate Newton (@katenewtonnz) December 23, 2015
Dawson feels a prima facie case exists against Dotcom and his co-accused, who the United States wants to prosecute for willingly and knowingly enabling piracy on the original Mega. The judge found that Mega coined it, big-time, with Dotcom pocketing over US$40m and his co-accused doing rather nicely too.
For those whose Latin doesn't go too far beyond Romanes eunt domus*, a prima facie case is one in which the facts speak for themselves, making a conclusion obvious.
A conclusion that Kim Dotcom and pals will soon be boarding a plane for America is not, however, entirely obvious in the short term. That's because the District Court is not New Zealand's ultimate jurisdiction. The High Court has that distinction and Dotcom's lawyer, one Ron Mansfield, said in the presence of The New Zealand Herald that an appeal to that court will be lodged on this very day.
The appeal will apparently argue points of law. If Mansfield does indeed file the appeal, it will likely be heard in 2016. Judges often take many weeks to write decisions and in high-profile cases that attract international scrutiny members of the judiciary sometimes take even longer to craft their reasoning. Long story short, don't bet on this being sorted out any time soon. ®
This is my weirdest Xmas ever.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 22, 2015
* Compulsory Christmas Eve viewing at your correspondent's domus