Kim Dotcom's appeal against extradition to the US will be streamed on YouTube from the Auckland High Court, a judge has ruled. The Internet entrepreneur is wanted in the US to face charges of copyright infringement.
Justice Murray Gilbert elected to allow livestreaming 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.
Dotcom said he would post a link on his Twitter account when the livestream begins on Wednesday.
"The cameraman needs to set this up professionally and implement the judge's livestreaming rules," he said. The livestream will be subject to a 20-minute delay to prevent evidence which is subject to court suppression orders being shown.
The move was opposed by crown lawyers representing the US government. They said a livestream 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 livestreamed in the way proposed, there's a very real potential for a prejudicial effect."
Appealing the decision
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. The FBI alleges Megaupload netted more than US$175 million in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners more than US$500 million by offering pirated content.
In December last year, after a nine-week hearing, a New Zealand court ruled there was "overwhelming" evidence to support extradition of the 41-year-old and three other Megaupload founders.
The German national and founder of the Megaupload file-sharing service, who has permanent residency in New Zealand, faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted in the US of piracy.
jbh/gsw (dpa, AFP)