More than four years later, Kim Dotcom’s legal battles (at least in New Zealand) may be close to an end. His final appeal to avoid extradition to face charges in the U.S started yesterday in Auckland’s High Court, and is expected to last six weeks.
And, in a first for any case in New Zealand (and in typical Kim Dotcom fashion), the appeal is being live-streamed.
All of the daily live streams and old footage can be found here on YouTube, but the hearing is actually live right now, and you can watch in the embedded stream below.
Dotcom’s lawyers petitioned to have the case streamed because of the “unprecedented issues of public and international interest” – essentially arguing that the only way to guarantee that Dotcom had a fair trial would be for it to be live-streamed around the world.
The judge agreed, under the conditions that the stream is delayed 20 minutes (so the Court can potentially remove any material they don’t want made public), and that all recorded footage is deleted after the trial concludes.
Notably, United States prosecutors (who hope to have Dotcom extradited so they can try him in the U.S) were against live-streaming the case, saying it could taint a jury pool for a potential trial in the United States – since juries are supposed to come into a case with no knowledge of prior legal proceedings.
While the stream went up yesterday for the first day of the appeal, there were some audio-visual issues which made the stream tough to watch, but Dotcom says that he has now had HD cameras installed for better streaming.
Oh and before you get disappointed, it’s important to note that appeals like these are extremely procedural and not very entertaining. If you’re interested in the law (or have been following Dotcom’s legal battle) you may find it interesting, but don’t expect an O.J-style made for TV courtroom drama.
But even though it hasn’t been a huge hit so far (current viewers are only ~200), the Megaupload founder has encouraged fans to continue watching, saying the best is yet to come.