Dotcom’s extradition appeal to be streamed on YouTube

Kim Dotcom’s appeal against extradition to the US to face charges of copyright infringement is to be streamed on YouTube from the Auckland High Court, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Dotcom said he would post a link on his Twitter account as soon as possible with the live stream to begin Wednesday.

“The cameraman needs to set this up professionally and implement the judge’s live streaming rules,” he said.

Dotcom hailed the result as a victory for open justice, saying on Twitter, “This is breaking new ground. New Zealand at the forefront of transparent justice!”

The move was opposed by crown lawyers representing the United States government who said a live stream could prejudice an American jury ahead of a potential trial there, Radio New Zealand reported

“There will be extensive submissions made in this court about matters that may well be inadmissible and irrelevant in any future trial,” crown lawyer Christine Gordon said.

“If those are reported or live streamed in the way proposed, there’s a very real potential for a prejudicial effect.” 

But Justice Murray Gilbert elected to allow live streaming on the condition that only the proceedings of the hearing would be streamed, and that any video footage would be taken down once the six-week-long court appeal was finished, according to Radio New Zealand.

The live stream will be subject to a 20-minute delay to prevent evidence which is subject to court suppression orders being shown.

Judge David Harvey, the director of the ICT law centre at Auckland University Law School, said the move to live stream court proceedings on YouTube was very unusual, but he believed it was the way of the future.

“It is very important that the proceedings of the courts are publicised and that they are broadcast, and with the availability of new media and different ways of communicating what goes on in court, the idea of open justice is better fulfilled.”

Dotcom and his former colleagues Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato were ruled eligible for extradition to the US in December but are appealing the decision.

The four were arrested in New Zealand in 2012 and charged with copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering in relation to the operations of Dotcom’s former file sharing website Megaupload.

Last update: Tue, 30/08/2016 - 09:38
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