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.

Filed Under: copyright, doj, evidence, extradition, high court, kim dotcom, neil macbride, new zealand, us
Companies: megaupload


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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Jun 2012 @ 7:40am

    Re: Understand exactly what the DOJ is appealing

    A problem with one of your evidence piles.
    DoJ walked into Carpathia, locked down the building and in a few hours got everything they wanted. They then claimed Carpathia was free to delete the servers and reprovision them. The DoJ wants to pretend they never took control of the entirety of the MU servers, even as they cut off everyones access to them and cherry picked data off of them.
    Much of the evidence presented to the Grand Jury came from data they can not explain how they came into possession of, internal emails from inside the company as well as Skype calls. It appears from an unindicted co-conspirator they were able to gain this information, one wonders what crimes they charged this person with to gain insight into the company.

    The second pile was taken in violation of NZ law and the order of the court. Evidence in a trial in NZ was handed to the FBI who dubbed copies while it was in their possession, in a country where they were just guests, and quickly FedEx'ed them out of the country.
    Anyone else have a problem with giving a 3rd party access to evidence in a "criminal" proceeding with no oversight?

    The DoJ wants time to go through the 150TB of data to find anything to support the case they presented to the Grand Jury.

    The DoJ wants to block MU from hiring a lawyer who represented companies who might be plaintiffs in a future civil matter, by that same reasoning shouldn't the former BSA lawyer be barred from running the the DoJ case?

    There is a good chance the extradition case is going to collapse, and then with a small push the US case is going to be sunk. Then the real fight will begin trying to get back everything they took from Mega before 2025.

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