25 Mar 2014

Crown seeks court order to curb Dotcom

2:31 pm on 25 March 2014

Crown lawyers will seek a legal order to stop internet businessman Kim Dotcom from commenting publicly about any court cases he's involved in.

Kim Dotcom.

Kim Dotcom. Photo: RNZ

In the High Court at Auckland on Monday, Crown lawyer Kristy McDonald took issue with comments Mr Dotcom had made on Twitter.

She said many of the tweets were scurrilous and risked undermining the court process. In one instance, she said, he had tweeted part of a legally privileged document.

On Tuesday Ms McDonald said she will apply for a formal order preventing Mr Dotcom from tweeting or otherwise commenting on legal proceedings.

Defence lawyer Paul Davison, QC, said the order sought was very broad and the court needed to take care that his client's free speech was not curbed any more than necessary.

The Crown also wants Mr Dotcom to turn over interview transcripts and other documents belonging to a journalist who wrote a book about him.

Ms McDonald told the court material collected by New Zealand Herald journalist David Fisher was highly relevant to Mr Dotcom's compensation case.

She says Mr Dotcom said he didn't have the material, and when the Crown asked Mr Fisher for it, he refused to hand it over.

Ms McDonald said the usual protections for journalists' material did not apply because Mr Fisher wrote a biography, not news articles.

She said that meant Mr Dotcom's legal team ought to demand the material and give it to the Crown as part of the legal discovery process.

Both sides have accused the other of not handing over all the evidence they should have.