Guy Arrested Over KickassTorrents Blocked From Talking To His US Attorney

from the due-process? dept

Just a few weeks ago, we had lawyer Ira Rothken on our podcast (it's a really great episode, so check it out if you haven't heard it yet). Rothken has been involved in lots of big copyright cases, but is probably most well-known these days as Kim Dotcom's US lawyer. In that episode we talked a lot about the Kim Dotcom situation, but also spent a fair amount of time on the case of Artem Vaulin, who was arrested in Poland for running the search engine KickassTorrents. The US is seeking to extradite him to stand trial in Illinois. On the podcast, Rothken expressed some concerns that he hadn't been able to speak directly to Vaulin and noted that he was working on it.

Nearly a month has passed, and it appears that officials are still blocking Vaulin from communicating with Rothken. TorrentFreak has the story:
Even though nearly two months have passed, the alleged KickassTorrents owner still hasn’t been allowed to meet with his U.S. defense team. A clear due process violation, according to Rothken.

“We still have not had an opportunity, nor have we been granted access, to meet with Artem Vaulin in prison in Poland. So we now believe that this has ripened into an international due process problem.

“We believe that Artem’s rights are now being impacted with his inability to communicate with U.S. counsel,” Rothken tells TF.
Vaulin is allowed to meet with his Polish lawyer, but since the charges against him are in the US, under US law, and the key issue involves extradition to the US, it's ridiculous that he's unable to consult with a US lawyer.
“There’s no way that there could be a fair trial in the United States, or a fair extradition process, without Artem being able to have access to U.S. counsel, to learn his rights, to be able to galvanize the evidence, and to do so in a robust and expedient manner,”
It seems quite bizarre that Vaulin is being denied access to his lawyer. Once again, as with the Dotcom case, it feels like a situation where officials are purposely stacking the deck against the person they're accusing, doing everything possible to make sure that they're pressured into cutting a deal, rather than actually being able to fight for their rights.

Filed Under: artem vaulin, copyright, due process, ira rothken, poland
Companies: kickass torrents


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 Sep 2016 @ 1:28pm

    Disgusting but not surprising

    It seems quite bizarre that Vaulin is being denied access to his lawyer.

    'Bizarre' implies that the reasoning behind it is confusing or unclear, but as the rest of the paragraph makes clear this is very much intentional.

    Once again, as with the Dotcom case, it feels like a situation where officials are purposely stacking the deck against the person they're accusing, doing everything possible to make sure that they're pressured into cutting a deal, rather than actually being able to fight for their rights.

    The USG doesn't want him to be able to adequately fight back, so they're doing everything they can to make sure that he's at as big of a disadvantage as they can. If they could prohibit him from talking to any lawyers but theirs I have no doubt whatsoever that they would do so, because talking to one lawyer is just as good as talking to another, right?

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

    • identicon
      Bork, 19 Sep 2016 @ 9:54pm

      Re: Disgusting but not surprising

      The lawyer is setting the ground for a mistrial by ensuring everyone the world over knows his client was denied his American Constitutional Rights and due process during extradition.

      The Polish are already turning Xenophobic and questioning their participation in the EU due to their migrant crisis. Now add to that news stories about the Americans enforcing their laws in Poland, but not even following their own constitution, due process laws, and possibly running the guy through a terrorist secret court when doing so.

      He'll be extradited and put on a kangaroo court trial, it'll be made public, and the EU member states will have another really good reason to remove themselves from the EU. Poland has a lot of oil pipelines running from Russia to the EU going through it, that happens, not good for the EU.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 1:14am

        Re: Re: Disgusting but not surprising

        The sad thing is, who wants to bet that the judge involved will simply shake his head, shrug his shoulders and say, "Well, the SWAT team was completely justified. The trial can go ahead!"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 2:42pm

    When does someone become a political prisoner?

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

  • icon
    madasahatter (profile), 19 Sep 2016 @ 3:01pm

    Corruption

    The only reason to deny due process is because the government has serious corruption it wants to hide.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 3:11pm

      Re: Corruption

      We have finally come full circle and are now the global superpower bullying anyone around the world who offends us. Hollywood has convinced the government that they are more important than due process, international relations or public rights and Dotcom was just the first big name to be punished. Little things like laws and borders won't stop them from railroading their victims.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 3:50pm

        Re: Re: Corruption

        Hollywood has convinced the government that they are more important than due process,

        you mean...

        Hollywood has bribed the government so that they are more important than due process.

        Nothing in government happens without money.

        Meanwhile the citizens keep giving Hollywood money and bank rolling the the destruction of America.

        Every Nation gets the Government it Deserves.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 5:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Corruption

          Hollywood is not the sole reason for the situation this country now finds itself in - but you knew that.

          Every society gets the overlord it allows.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 7:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Corruption

            Every society gets the overlord it allows.

            Yeah, everybody gets what they allow. Remember that if you ever have a loved one that gets raped. They had it coming to them.

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

            • icon
              Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 21 Sep 2016 @ 6:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Corruption

              Wrong analogy. In a government situation there's a culture of complicity with the governing regime until the people won't support it any more. Even the really repressive ones require a compliant majority.

              In a rape situation there's nothing to rebel against as such; you just have a victim trying to put his or her life back together after an horrific event.

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

        • identicon
          Andy, 20 Sep 2016 @ 12:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Corruption

          Wrong, many many people boycott all media coming from hollywood, i don't think i have paid to see one film in the last few years and i have had more than enough content to satisfy my and my families needs. More and more people are realising how crazy it is to pay for content and how to get a hell of a lot of content free or for a very very small fee.

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

      • icon
        Padpaw (profile), 20 Sep 2016 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re: Corruption

        we should start a pool on which country fights back first be it conventional warfare or economic sanctions

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 20 Sep 2016 @ 5:50am

      Re: Corruption

      We have come full circle and are become the very thing we were fighting in the last century.

      In the last century, kangaroo courts with "show trials" where defendants were denied access to counsel or evidence was the thing we made fun of and gasped in horror at. Now it is us.

      When the magical 'terrorist' incantation is invoked, we also have the whole list of Secret Courts, Secret Warrants, Secret Arrests, Evidence, Trials, Convictions, and Secret Prisons with Secret Torture.

      Our police that were once highly respected part of our communities now act as an occupying invasion force complete with actual military equipment to use against the insurgents who once were called 'citizens', but now are called 'civilians'.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 7:26pm

        Re: Re: Corruption

        In the last century, kangaroo courts with "show trials" where defendants were denied access to counsel or evidence was the thing we made fun of and gasped in horror at.

        Some of us did. Others only pretended to, while secretly admiring it.

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

  • icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 19 Sep 2016 @ 3:39pm

    how sad and maddening...

    ...that kafka's 'The Trial' becomes a how-to-guide for Empire's behavior...

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

    • icon
      HegemonicDistortion (profile), 20 Sep 2016 @ 4:49am

      Re: how sad and maddening...

      Are there any judges who are honest, fair, and have the guts to stand up to power and the Dept of Disjustice* any more?

      Are there any prosecutors left who have any notion of their supposed obligation to seek justice rather than maximum prosecution and fuckery?

      *yeah that's right, disjustice. Neologisms, for when the old adjectives just don't convey the problem anymore.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 5:14am

        Re: Re: how sad and maddening...

        Are there any judges .. Are there any prosecutors ..

        A better question - were there any ... ever

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 6:56am

        Re: Re: how sad and maddening...

        Are there any judges who are honest, fair, and have the guts to stand up to power and the Dept of Disjustice* any more?


        Yeah, but they get vilified for following the law and the recommendations of probation officials.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 3:39pm

    WELCOME

    to our Mickey Mouse justice system.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 4:55pm

    Prior cases

    How does this case compare with other cases having attendant publicity? For example, the case of the 'NatWest Four' - the 4 UK bankers eventually extradited to the US - did they have access to US lawyers during the phase before the extradition ruling was made? After but before the actual extradition?

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

  • icon
    hmayle (profile), 19 Sep 2016 @ 4:56pm

    Due Process non-existant in other famous trials too...

    "Once again, as with the Dotcom case, it feels like a situation where officials are purposely stacking the deck against the person they're accusing..."

    The ultimate "stacked deck" trial would have to be the Nuremburg Trials of the Nazis. The defense lawyers were not allowed to even see the evidence unless the prosecutors approved it and the prosecutors had free reign to destroy any evidence they chose. The defense could not call any witnesses the prosecution did not approve of. They could not present any evidence unless the prosecution approved it. Although many of the accused may have deserved their fate the Nuremburg Trials were nothing but show trials with the outcomes predetermined.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 5:17am

      Re: Due Process non-existant in other famous trials too...

      How does one defend megalomaniac mass murderers? Insanity?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 6:58am

        Re: Re: Due Process non-existant in other famous trials too...

        A lot of them didn't know what was going on in the camps. Some weren't even officers and had no authority to do anything. Some were told they could comply or be shot. None of that mattered in the show trials.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 7:29pm

        Re: Re: Due Process non-existant in other famous trials too...

        Why even have trials?

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

  • identicon
    Dunga Din, 19 Sep 2016 @ 5:31pm

    I am outta here ASAP

    There is no justice. It is all a big Dog & Pony show, a Pretend Civilization based on predatory principles enforced by the guns of the biggest most bullying krazy klown on the scene at any given moment.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 5:18am

      Re: I am outta here ASAP

      .. and this is why those in power do not like the free communication now allowed by the internet - and why they want to kill it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 5:49pm

    check to see who is stopping this and the answer, i bet, is Hollywood and the pressure it exerts onto the bought and paid for members in the government. instead of having an ounce of backbone, these spineless individuals use the the only thing in their favor, albeit a very favorable thing, the wealth they have with which to buy the needed power! however, sooner or later the truth always comes out and dead or alive the individual(s) concerned can still be named and shamed, even if it is only on to the family members who are left!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 6:30pm

    I might be missing something, but this line from the TF article makes it sound like it's Poland that's blocking things?

    “We have gone through all the hurdles that we could possibly go through with the Polish authorities. Right now there’s simply no proper basis for them not to give access, other than the fact that they’re involved in procedural gamesmanship,” Rothken says.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Sep 2016 @ 6:39pm

    If only there were some sort of department of like justice or something that could investigate and stop the corruption of governmental agencies by sneaking in former lobbyists & supplying very well paying jobs for minor work when they left that office.

    And then when the laws of the land were being broken they could charge those people doing wrong and punish them to the full extent of the law no matter how big and powerful their real masters were.

    Corruption probes rooting out corporate wrongdoing & putting an end to the business as usual thumbing of noses at the law, and demanding actions be taken violating the rights of people globally to appease them.

    Yeah, we should totally make one of those...

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

    • identicon
      Quiet Lurcker, 19 Sep 2016 @ 7:35pm

      Re:

      In theory, there is such a thing. But the way it's run - or not run, as may be - reminds me of that well-worn phrase, "qui custodet custodes?".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 7:34pm

    Sadly this is just SOP these days, due process is just an illusion.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 7:42pm

    You have the right to an attorney...

    but not the right to consult with them.

    Yeah, I see how that works.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2016 @ 8:17pm

    Meanwhile, Roman Polanski is still a free man.

    Talk about a rape of the justice system.

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

  • identicon
    oliver, 19 Sep 2016 @ 11:51pm

    Poland, that bastion of democracy and civil rights...
    is anyone really that surprised about that?

    I'm shocked, shocked......

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

  • identicon
    IronM@sk, 20 Sep 2016 @ 1:55am

    Meanwhile...

    Meanwhile, the "Led Zeppelin: The Complete BBC Sessions Remastering" just released in better quality because some guy recorded the session at home on his cassette machine 20 years ago and it was a better quality recording than the one that the band themselves had, after the BBC lost the original recordings...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Sep 2016 @ 6:42am

    USA World Police

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

  • icon
    JustMe (profile), 20 Sep 2016 @ 8:12am

    Why are you surprised?

    The law only applies to "the little people" - not the apparatchiks in the US Government.

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

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 20 Sep 2016 @ 10:09am

    Might makes right the US is being run by criminals. They are in the high government positions in the spy networks in the justice system, etc.

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

  • identicon
    Andy, 20 Sep 2016 @ 12:17pm

    When!

    When a person is not allowed due process as required in a request to extradite someone, the judge should be told that he must not allow the person to be extradited.
    In every instance the DOJ should be warned that if these tactics are ever used then the extradition order will be denied and not allowed to be submitted again for the same person.They must also be warned that this applies to all extradition orders for terrorists and murderers which could end up with them not being extradited for a real crime they committed.

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

  • icon
    Eldakka (profile), 20 Sep 2016 @ 10:37pm

    Polish law applies.

    This extradition is happening in Polish courts. It is solely a matter under Polish law at the moment. As it is occuring in Polish courts under Polish law, unless Rothken is allowed to practice Polish law in Polish courts, then in Poland he is NOT a lawyer.

    If defendants Polish practicing lawyer wishes to consult a US lawyer on the ramifications of US law, he is entitled to do so, just like with any other expert consultant or witness.

    Do Polish courts usually allow random consultants/expert witnesses access to a defendant that's being held in custody? In this context (Polish law), in this location (Polish courts), all Rothken is is an expert witness or consultant, he is NOT a lawyer. Therefore he should have no greater access to the defendant than any other non-lawyer would have.

    Now, whether the Polish custodial system should be routinely denying access to non-lawyers, such as Rothken, or say if the defendant had hired a PI, or whomever is another question. But the fact that Rothken is a lawyer in the US does not grant him lawyer-level access in Poland.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2016 @ 5:02am

      Re: Polish law applies.

      So although by Megaupload trial logic he did business in the US and committed a crime in the US, when it comes to legal representation over the same crime US law somehow magically doesn't apply?

      How convenient...

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


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