A New Zealand court ruled on Friday that the United States government does not have to hand over all the evidence it has against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, whom it is trying to extradite for online piracy, fraud and money laundering.
The Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should disclose all its evidence so Dotcom could fairly contest the extradition case against him.
The FBI accuses Dotcom, and three others, who founded the file-sharing site which housed everything from family photos to blockbuster films, of leading a group that netted 175 million U.S. dollars since 2005 by copying and distributing copyrighted content without authorisation.
The Court of Appeal said the U.S. government had a duty of "candour and good faith" in making an extradition bid, but a summary of the evidence held would suffice.
It said there were safeguards for any accused, such as the New Zealand courts and government seeking more information if it is not satisfied there is a prima facie case against an accused.
Dotcom maintains that Megaupload, one of the world's most popular websites before it was shut down in January last year, simply provided online storage services, and should not be held responsible for stored content.
The latest court ruling is the first significant legal setback for Dotcom since he was released on bail last February.
Since the initial raid, the courts have ruled that search warrants used in the raid were illegal, unfrozen some of his assets for living and legal expenses, relaxed restrictions of travel, and ordered extensive evidence disclosure.
The extradition hearing for Dotcom and the other three defendants is scheduled to be held in August.
Presented by Adam Justice