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Supreme Court Denies Kim Dotcom Permission to Appeal


In 2016, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom filed an eight-point statement of claim for judicial review in an effort to attack the underpinnings of the extradition process. A year later, the High Court struck out the first seven and a subsequent appeal by Dotcom failed. In a judgment handed down today, Dotcom was denied permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

In 2012, file-hosting site Megaupload was shut down by the United States government and founder Kim Dotcom and several associates were arrested in New Zealand.

For the past seven years, the US government has been engaged in a battle to extradite Dotcom, so that he can face trial in the US on several counts including copyright infringement, racketeering, and money laundering.

Dotcom has fought back every step of the way and in 2016, filed an eight-point statement of claim for judicial review, aimed at “attacking the underpinnings of the extradition process” by filing an eight-point statement of claim for judicial review.

In a 22-page High Court ruling (pdf) handed down in December 2017, Justice Timothy Brewer sided with the US and rejected seven out of the eight causes of action, stating they were either not reasonably arguable or were abuses of process.

The eighth point, which wasn’t challenged by the US, concerns the decision by the Deputy Solicitor-General in June 2017 to direct that clones be made of the electronic devices seized from Mr Dotcom’s homes so they could be sent to the US.

Dotcom appealed but the Court of Appeal dismissed the action. Dotcom then sought permission to appeal that decision at the Supreme Court. In a judgment handed down this morning by Justices William Young, O’Regan and Ellen France JJ, the Supreme Court denied leave to appeal.

“The applicant [Dotcom] argues that the criteria for the grant of leave to appeal in s 74 of the Senior Courts Act 2016 are met in relation to the present application either because the application raises matters of general and public importance or because a substantial miscarriage of justice may occur if leave is not granted,” the judgment reads.

“We are not persuaded that the proposed appeal raises matters of general and public importance.”

Dotcom argued that a miscarriage of justice would take place if he was denied permission to appeal. However, the Supreme Court said that was not correct.

“The applicant is seeking to challenge concurrent findings in the Courts below on almost every point that would be in issue if leave were granted. We do not see the arguments foreshadowed by the applicant in his application for leave and the submissions in support of that application as having sufficient prospects of success to justify the grant of leave,” the judgment adds.

After dismissing Dotcom’s application for a hearing at the Supreme Court on the matter, the Court then ordered him to pay $2,500 to the US Government to cover its costs.

Thus far, Dotcom hasn’t commented publicly on the judgment but did find a report published here on TF yesterday darkly amusing. Safe harbor for YouTube, but not him, apparently.

The judgment can be obtained here (pdf)

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