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Dotcom loses 'show us the evidence ' round in bid to stop extradition to US

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

March 1, 2013 | 3 min read

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues are a step closer to being put on a plane from New Zealand to face charges in the US.

Dotcom: New appeal planned

A court in Wellington overturned an earlier ruling that would have allowed the four broad access to much of the evidence in the case against them at the time of their extradition hearing, scheduled for August.

A lawyer acting for the US Government had argued that the earlier court had no power to make disclosure decisions in an extradition case. Disclosure was extensive and could involve billions of emails, he said.

Extensive disclosure would in fact bog down the process, the appeals court in Wellington decided - and instead a summary of the US case would suffice.

Dotcom's lawyer William Akel said the original order would have forced the US to show some proof of its allegations. With the new ruling, he said it required a great deal of trust on the part of NZ courts that the US case against Dotcom should just be accepted at face value.

Dotcom and the others are accused of facilitating massive copyright fraud through the internet filesharing site Megaupload

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Dotcom, a German national, says he is innocent and cannot be held responsible for others using the site to illegally download songs and films.

Along with him, the US wants to extradite Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, who all had top jobs at Megaupload before American authorities shut the site down in 2012.

Paul Davison, one of Dotcom's lawyers, said he now planned to appeal at New Zealand's supreme court.

The extradition hearing, already postponed from March to August because of the legal wrangling, could be postponed further, said the Guardian, should the supreme court decide to hear the next Davison appeal.

Dotcom, who is out on bail, launched a new filesharing site called Mega in January,on the anniversary of his arrest.

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