29 Sep 2015

Doctom hearing: Ministry under microscope

6:55 pm on 29 September 2015

The question of whether the Justice Minister saw a copy of the arrest warrants for Kim Dotcom and his co-accused has been the focus at the mogul's extradition hearing.

Kim Dotcom in court in Auckland as the main extradition hearing begins on 24 September 2015.

Kim Dotcom in court in Auckland at the start of his main extradition hearing. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato are facing extradition to the United States on copyright and money-laundering charges, related to their file-sharing website, Megaupload.

Under the Extradition Act, the Justice Minister is meant to be given a copy of provisional arrest warrants and the supporting evidence, as part of a briefing.

Mr Ortmann and Mr van der Kolk's lawyer, Grant Illingworth, asked a Ministry of Justice witness, Charlotte Haigh, whether those documents had been included in the briefing given to the Minister at the time, Judith Collins.

Ms Haigh told the court she didn't recall if that was recorded on the Ministry's file.

Judge Nevin Dawson has ordered Ms Haigh to review the file and confirm whether the Minister was given the relevant information.

The FBI claims the Megaupload site knowingly hosted thousands of pirated movies and other files.

The Crown, which is representing the US, says the men committed large-scale wire fraud by using Paypal to pay cash rewards to users who uploaded popular files.

It says millions of dollars in illegal profits were spent over the years, including about $7.7 million on yacht rentals.

The hearing began on 21 September, and is continuing.