New Zealand's High Court Steps Into Extradition Fight Over Kim Dotcom
from the not-so-simple dept
As the Justice Department continues to pretend there’s nothing strange at all about its highly questionable tactics in shutting down Megaupload and having its executives arrested, the courts are still struggling with the details. A few weeks back, we noted that a judge in New Zealand rejected the US’s demand that New Zealand merely rubberstamp an extradition order to the US, despite there being numerous questions over the case itself and whether or not extradition is appropriate. As part of that, the judge also ordered the US Attorneys to hand over the evidence they’re using to make the case against Dotcom and his colleagues, such that they can properly respond to the evidence. The US, as you might expect has gone absolutely ballistic about this, insisting that such an effort is impossible — and that “it would take at least two months” to get the evidence together.
Of course, to some of us, that suggests that the DOJ hasn’t yet looked at the evidence — and thus it shut down the company and arrested its staff first, without even knowing if a crime had been committed.
Either way, that months-long delay presented a problem, since New Zealand had scheduled the extradition hearing for August 6th, and the Megaupload legal team deserved some time with the evidence to formulate its defense. The latest, however, is that New Zealand’s High Court has agreed to an “urgent review” of the original ruling. The court also told the US to start the process of putting together the evidence to hand over to Dotcom’s lawyers, but that it can wait until the High Court has reviewed the case before actually handing them over.
No matter what, this is once again showing the US’s hubris in this case — assuming it could waltz into New Zealand, with highly questionable evidence, shut down a company, and extradite the executives to the US without anyone asking questions. With each move in this case, more questions are raised about the competence of the DOJ staff who worked on this case, led by Neil MacBride — a former “anti-piracy VP” for the copyright industries, who may have let his biases and previous (and future?) employers’ interests get the best of him.