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New Zealand Court Releases $4.83 Million To Kim Dotcom

from the another-loss-for-the-doj dept

The US government keeps having setback after setback after setback in its legal fight against Kim Dotcom and Megaupload. If the US had its way, all of Dotcom's assets would have been frozen, he would be stuck in jail with no opportunity to be bailed out, and New Zealand would have already rubber stamped extradition papers. But none of that has happened.

The latest is that, against the wishes of the US and the New Zealand governments, the court has granted Dotcom the use of $4.83 million out of the assets that were frozen in order to pay some of his legal expenses (though, not for his US lawyer, Ira Rothken). The order also says that the released funds cannot be used for Dotcom's co-defendants. The ruling, embedded below, is pretty thorough and suggests (yet again) that the US-driven prosecution of Dotcom is mostly focused on trying to railroad him, rather than allow him to mount an adequate defense. He may very well be guilty, but it's pretty shameful that the steps taken by the US and New Zealand governments seem designed to not even give him a chance to properly defend himself. At least the New Zealand court has recognized that's not right, and will allow him access to some funds, with specific limits, so that he can put together his defense.
Mr Dotcom's rights under the NZBORA and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights further tip the balance in his favour. The State's contingent interest in the restrained property is of punitive nature and limited to depriving Mr Dotcom of the fruits of his alleged offending. In contrast, Mr Dotcom's access to counsel is supported by his rights to natural justice, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and to consult and instruct a lawyer and to have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence. It is generally assumed that the right to access defence counsel includes the right to counsel of the defendant's choice....


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  1.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Bigger than DotCom

    He may very well be guilty


    What I find very interesting about this case is that it no longer matters whether or not DotCom is guilty. What matters is that the US government has engaged in tactics that at the very least make it look absolutely awful, and at most are criminal.

    Even if DotCom is guilty as hell, the story will still be, rightfully, about how the US government has debased itself.

     

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  2.  
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    droozilla (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    Good on the kiwi courts for not allowing the puppet hand of the USA to reach up it's rectum. Even the Aussies won't tell them no (carbon tax/tpp, anyone?).

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    No you see because those other sites that the US seized (dajaz1 and rojadirecta) were mistakes BUT this one is legitmate. Countdown to the US dropping this case in 3,2,1...

     

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  4.  
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    BeaverJuicer (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    Kim Dot Com will be found guilty. Just like Dajaz1 and Rojadirecta. All the motherfucking pirates can't fight the MOTHERFUCKING EAGLES!!!

     

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  5.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Re:

    I am sick of these motherfucking pirates on these motherfucking eagles.

    (Had to say it)

     

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  6.  
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    MrWilson, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    "He may very well be guilty"

    [waiting for the AC trolls to creatively try to turn this statement into clear evidence that Mike is a pirate apologist...]

    I'm guessing it'll be something like:

    "Mike said 'may very well be guilty' instead of 'clearly is guilty and everyone knows it!' Typical piratetard defense broadbrush think of the children!"

     

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  7.  
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    BeaverJuicer (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Soon, it will move from a baseball score (2-0 Pirates over Eagles) to a football score, still in favor of the Pirates lol.

     

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  8.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Re:

    Hey...what if Dotcom creates a giant hoagie with all that money?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    what if he uses that money to win?

    It's unconscionable

     

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  10.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

    Re:

    dajaz1 held for a year.

    Rojadirecta held for 18 months.

    This case might well be dropped, but you're going to have to start the countdown a little higher than 3.

     

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  11.  
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    AG Wright (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

    Where are?

    Where are all the posts about pirate Mike? This has been up for hours and nothing.
    I wonder if they all got laid off in the latest cuts?

     

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  12.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Bigger than DotCom

    "Even if DotCom is guilty as hell, the story will still be, rightfully, about how the US government has debased itself."


    I know what your saying about his guilt is hypothetical but just I wanted to point this out:

    DCMA 1998 512, Paragraph 12 (or 10...not sure) Articles C,D,G,H, and J all cover Kim Dotcom and Megaupload :-)

     

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  13.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Where are?

    Odd, you might be on to something there...who recently cut their staff in big business?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Thank god he no longer has to scrape by on only $48,000 a month.

     

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  15.  
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    Mark, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Seems like an SAT question.

    If the DOJ fights a quixotic battle against Dajaz1.com for 12 months and Rojadirecta.com for 18 months, how long will the MegaConspiracy go on for? Show all work

    A) 12 Months
    B) 18 Months
    C) 24 Months
    D) 30 Months
    E) Until they can't hide that the RIAA & MPAA have stopped handing them money and no longer respond to requests to stand by their assertions, since they know they are very faulty premises

     

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  16.  
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    MahaliaShere (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Where are?

    Hmmm, budget cuts for RIAA and MPAA?

     

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  17.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    Finally a troll....

    He has to pay legal fees and for the 200 some odd petabytes data being held on top of monthly bills.

     

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  18.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Where are?

    You just got my insightful vote.... Damn you're good :-)

     

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  19.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'd be happy with either outcome.

     

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  20.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Where are?

    Well the good ones had to be let go yes, that's why lately we've just been getting sub-par trolls showing up, they don't have the money budgeted for any decent ones.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    E

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:28pm

    This case is going to completely unravel for the US DOJ.
    Dot Com will be free and Megaupload will come back bigger and stronger.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    How does DCMA 1998, a US law, apply to a non US citizen outside the US?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    All of the above.

     

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  25.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    The servers were in the US and were being used as a service provider for Megaupload.

    The DCMA is subject to international law.

    Those particular articles take any responsibility for service providers away for what their users do. In other words they aren't responsible for how people use their services because it doesn't break any felony based law.

     

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  26.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    It would cover him if he were extradited to the US.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    how does any US law, even no-yet-quite existing laws used to take down a site and arrest people, apply to a non-US citizen outside the US?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    Kim.Com rules

     

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  29.  
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    loaderboy (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    How do we....

    get that NZ judge exported to the US?

     

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  30.  
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    Chargone (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    Re: How do we....

    bad plan. he'd be assassinated or in a jail outside the borders within the month.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    Using that logic how can a non US citizen outside the US be charged with a crime in the US? If the safe-harbor portions of the saute don't apply because he's not from here then no portion of any statue applies, including the ones he allegedly violated.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    It's a cycle. Release funds, pay off the judge. Release funds, pay off judge.

    You don't see it?

     

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  33.  
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    Vukovar (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Bigger than DotCom

    I get the impression that even the Judge is questioning the entire case (i.e. railroad job):

    Paragraph 52: "On any view of the matter, the legal proceedings in which Mr Dotcom has been involved to date in responding to the charges and processes of the United States authorities in New Zealand have been significant, complex and in many respects novel.

     

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  34.  
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    Digitari, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 6:10pm

    Re:

    no no no, that's something you pedal you dolt :)

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dear Sir,

    The most Disgraceful thing in all of this is that NOT ONE DOLLAR of the released funds will go in bribes and cash handouts to the RIAA/MPAA..............

    Yours

    The Enemy of Progress (RIAA/MPAA)

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    F) Keep pretend that they have the case until noone is interested anymore, then silently drop the case.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 7:34pm

    and what about those defending themselves who have no money.

     

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  38.  
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    athe, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

    Re: How do we....

    Try extraditing him???

     

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  39.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 8:02pm

    Re:

    And I quote:

    "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say or do [now] will be held against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford an attorney, the court will assign you one."


    The Miranda Warning :-)

    It pertains to the fact that you have your rights to not incriminate yourself after immediately being arrested and by the 5th Amendment you may stay silent and by the Sixth Amendment you have the right to legal counsel/attorney. These must be said as a reminder if you are arrested.

     

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  40.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: How do we....

    I half expect the next extradition request to NZ to be something along the lines of "For facilitating criminal copyright infringement(unfreezing assets), aiding and abetting a pirate (Kim Dotcom), the US hereby demands the extradition of Judge J. Potter."

     

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  41.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 8:28pm

    Re: The Miranda Warning

    But nobody read that out to Kim Dotcom when he was arrested. Would a US court have to take that into account?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 8:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Of course, but who's going to do better, someone with an appointed lawyer or someone with money.

     

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  43.  
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    Spike (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    He abided by the DMCA fully. Just because his system de-duplicated files (hint, ALL the other cloud storage providers including the big names do this too), doesn't mean he ran foul of the DMCA.

     

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  44.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 11:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    The DCMA is subject to international law.

    No it isn't, unless you mean it is subject to being voided by any and all other jurisdictional laws that are not from sovereign countries called the USofA

    The DCMA is a CIVIL law for the sole purpose of America only and to the rest of the world is just another piece of paper that they can acknowledge, or not, or toss it into an appropriate receptacle.

    It is not to do with comity, or any other 'international' law, or even treaty (unless that treaty specifically states it is a part of it and AFAIK none do)

    Also the DCMA even in America really isn't anything other than a "Cover Thyne Arse" defence since not complying might (emphasis on might) leave the provider with a vicarious liability, it is still up to a court to decide.

     

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  45.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 11:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    Again no it wouldn't. A DMCA is only a protection for vicarious liability that can be used as a defence.. It doesn't mean it will be allowed as a defence or if not 'complied' with, make a court see absolute guilt either.

    The DCMA is just a procedural CYA (see above comment of mine) that is ONLy for USA based entities. In other words MegaUpload were not USA based.. the servers were so the only people who might be vicariously liable under a non compliance of DMCA is possibly the owners of the infrastructure itself. and That's a HUGE maybe

     

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  46.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is a typical Hiugh School question in that the real answer is none of the above and instead should be


    F) Until the USA Govt and it's Industry contributors say so

    ie: A cold cold day in hell

     

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  47.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Re: The Miranda Warning

    Nope, he was arrested under New Zealand arrest protocols so if he was given any sort of caution it would of been under whatever practice the NZ LEO's use..

    Also if extradited a person is normally re-arrested by the jurisdiction that has requested extradition once they have either entered internat waters or the jurisdiction where they want them. So in Dotcoms case if he was extradited the FBI/DoJ/whatever would most likely arrest him on the Aircraft outside of NZ Airspace. Then all USA Arrest protocols would need to be given like Miranda etc

    The USA Miranda Warning is so ubiquitous though due to Media etc that it's annoying how many times people in Australia (and I would expect NZ is same) actually expect , demand, and get abusive when it isn't given. And don't get me started on the "right of a phone call" HA! that's again only in the USA though normally given if asked for the purpose of calling legal counsel but the call can be refused at discretion of LEO especially if the arrestee is being a complete idjit!

     

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  48.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 12:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The funadmental problem (as outlined in the "NEVER TALK TO THE POLICE" video, is that there is no mention of exculpatory evidence being used to exonarate you from a crime.

     

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  49.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 4:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    Do you believe everything your oh "so perfect" Australian Government tells you?

     

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  50.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 4:21am

    Re: Re: Re: The Miranda Warning

    "The USA Miranda Warning is so ubiquitous though due to Media etc that it's annoying how many times people in Australia (and I would expect NZ is same) actually expect , demand, and get abusive when it isn't given. "

    So it isn't right to allow someone to remain silent until they have legal council if they wanted to? It was ruled in the US Supreme Court that you have to be notified of your right to an attorney....Once again you have it wrong.

     

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  51.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 4:36am

    Re:

    512 of the DCMA are the safe harbors protecting him :-)

     

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  52.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    "The DCMA is just a procedural CYA (see above comment of mine) that is ONLy for USA based entities."

    If you had been really obsessively compulsively into the matter as I had, you would no that what you said there is not true at all. The TAKEDOWN of an entity outside the US is prohibited, not the protection.

    I asked a lawyer friend specifically where they were and she pointed out to me the entirety of 512 (section 512).

     

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  53.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 5:15am

    I'm truly curious on what are the thoughts of our regular trolls on this.

    In any case, I do hope Dotcom manages to win this one. As I cheer for Assange. The US are in need of a few blows to show they don't own every1.

     

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  54.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Which means, you have the right to remain silent because anything you say or do (in illegal fashion) will be used against you....and you have the right to remain silent until you receive legal council. If you cannot afford an attorney, the state will provide you with one.

     

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  55.  
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    Oblate (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    What, a reasonable ruling?

    This seems like a good ruling from a reasonable judge, especially going against pressure from above.

    How can we get judges like this in the US? I mean without extraditing them.

     

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  56.  
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    Oblate (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    F) Until Kim Dotcom flees to Ecuador

     

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  57.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 6:23am

    Re:

    Hey Ninja, I want to tell you what I think of Asange as a human being, and outside my own patriotism. I love and respect your defense of him, but the human side of me tells me he is dangerous and not my own government.

    I have two things on my own mind about him.

    I simply don't like him. (1) He's arrogant. That's the difference between Kim Dot Com and Julian Asange. He is arrogant and has something to hide. (2) Asange has been hiding around legal loopholes. While some of those documents exposed embarrassing human incidents of human diplomacy, he also gave out Embassy ETA (Estimated Time of Arival) which in some regions

    I love Kim Dot Com to death as a human and businessman.
    Kim Dot Com did nothing illegal by any governments (just pissed off the MPAA and RIAA), and did not flee when found by the police. He's a rather well mannered, if not eccentric man.


    There is an old proverb I was brought up by:
    The sinner will fly when there is nothing to flee from.

    Meaning if you have been accused of something, you should stand up and stand your ground and not run away from the problem until it is resolved.

    Asange, to me at least, is running away from his problems. He's not taking the responsibility it takes to defend himself. He's running away.. Did you know that in the US, in cases of espionage charges, you still have the right to defend yourself with a legal attorney?

    Kim Dot Com hid out of fear for his life in his safe room. He did not take flight to another country or ask for asylum. He owned up to the responsibility of defending himself.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    "Kim Dot Com will be found guilty. Just like Dajaz1 and Rojadirecta. All the motherfucking pirates can't fight the MOTHERFUCKING EAGLES!!!"

    Both Dajazl and Rojadirecta were innocent.
    Or doesn't that matter to you, Romney Boy?

     

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  59.  
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    Niall (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re:

    Why don't you go and buy a new sarcasm detector, Poodle Boy?

     

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  60.  
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    Niall (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re:

    Pardon a lot of us non-American for not trusting the US government or laws, especially after this MegaCockup...

    A lot of us don't like Assange particularly, and would like to see him deal with his Swedish issues - but only if the US butts the heck out.

     

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  61.  
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    BeaverJuicer (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Miranda Warning

    It was ruled in the US Supreme Court that you have to be notified of your right to an attorney....Once again you have it wrong.
    Except that Kim.Com was arrested in NZ, and the US Supreme Court ruling has no jurisdiction there.

     

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  62.  
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    BeaverJuicer (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re:

    Did you know that in the US, in cases of espionage charges, you still have the right to defend yourself with a legal attorney?
    Git-mo. 'nuff said.

     

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  63.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Miranda Warning

    What? I was explaining that in countries without that EXACT caution or requirement like Australia the actual citizens of that country think because of the ubiquitous nature of the Miranda warning on every cop/law show known that comes out of the USA that it also applies to them. ie: TV law is not REAL law. It's quite amusing and sometimes scary to see the reaction when they find out. Nope you dont have all those rights and yes what the officer told you is all they need to now be a good lad/lass and let us take your fingerprints etc and maybe if you are good we will let you make a call to someone that we APPROVE of (and they initiate the call)

    I personally think the Miranda Caution is a brilliant rule and states everything up front like it should, sadly my opinion means squat when it comes to what the law actually states in Australia and other countries.

     

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  64.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bigger than DotCom

    Ok, you missed the point that I'm defending Kim Dotcom.

     

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  65.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Miranda Warning

    Beaver Juice, he said the law itself was ubiquitous and that he hates it how Australians and New Zelanders thinks it applies to them. I'm simply implying that it isn't at all ubiquitous in the US. He's not reading the comment fully or comprehending what I'm saying unless he feels he can dispute it without thinking.

     

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  66.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Miranda Warning

    The right to remain silent to prevent self-incrimination and the right to a legal council in that situation was considered by my country's founding fathers to be a basic human right. In turn, everyone in the world has a fucking basic right to those two things. Australia has it as a basic right. New Zeland has it too under certain circumstances.

    You will probably miss that point to and continue to try puking on a few other comments I have made. In the US, we are taught about the US Constitution's Bill of Rights and Amendments therein....in grade school.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Pardon a lot of us non-American for not trusting the US government or laws, especially after this MegaCockup..."

    Trust me I don't trust the Feds at current either. I trust the local police and the State Highway Patrol. Mind you it depends on where you live...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That pertains to susspected terrorism. You don't see spies "plotting" to blow up buildings do you? Yes Git-Mo bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh no offense taken Niall ^_^ I agree with you. There is just one thing though. He released ETA (Estimated Time of Artival) information of my country's ambassadors. So yeah, we want him too...

    Tell you what. Let's all compromise :-) We have everyone who wants him (including Switzerland) meet up in Geneva and put him to trial.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2012 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    right

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2012 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Re:

    a weak one but yes, one all the same

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Miranda Warning

    Damn wally you're a troll's troll ain't you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2012 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Miranda Warning

    pretending to fight the good fight, then when someone calls you out you get all defensive. C'mon man the world ain't the good ole US of A

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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