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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Companies: megaupload

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Comments on “New Zealand Court Releases $4.83 Million To Kim Dotcom”

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73 Comments
John Fenderson (profile) says:

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.

Wally (profile) says:

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Wally (profile) says:

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.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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).

Vukovar (profile) says:

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.

Mark says:

Re: 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

MrWilson says:

“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!”

Wally (profile) says:

Re: 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: 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!

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 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.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 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.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ We have everyone who wants him (including Switzerland) meet up in Geneva and put him to trial.

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