back to article Megaupload extradition: Rotund web baron Kim Dotcom appears in court

After three years of legal delays, Kim Dotcom finally appeared in court in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday to start his extradition hearing to the United States. Dotcom faces criminal charges for what the US government has said was an organized plan to make money from selling access to copyrighted music and video. He is …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    As someone with no ties to either the US legal system and no ties to DotCom I feel it my civic duty to offer to look after his $40 million from Hong Kong. I'll probably put it into BitCoins because they also are so legit.

  2. Youngone Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Getting Interesting now

    I am looking forward to hearing the justifications from our own politicians here in New Zealand if the whole case falls over.

    They've been acting as patsies for the FBI for a few years now, so I'm sure they'll be happy to lie with a straight face for as long as it takes.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Getting Interesting now

      While I can't defend the NZ politicos in this, I think they are not basically to blame. Copyright law in the US has been grotesquely distorted for the benefit of greedy corporations (rather than the benefit of the starving writers and artists it was originally intended for). And these corporations are vindictive and don't hesitate to abuse the legal system accordingly. And the extradition treaty intended to deal with actual harmful and dangerous criminals is just another law they can abuse.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Getting Interesting now

        If shyster on the bench bothered to think he would have tossed the USDA into prison for attempted kidnapping. Dotcom has never set foot in the US and his businesses never had a US office. Serious legal problems.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Getting Interesting now

          but the NZ politicos are to blame. It is surely a judicial thing and nothing to do with politics. The US petition for extradition, surely there is an extradition treaty/agreement that will be passed to the courts. This is then challenged by the defence and that is that - the courts decide.

          what happened in that the politicos had a chat with the US (who probably said, give us this person now, don't care how you do it) they tried, made a hash, became more public, people questioned how close is NZ to being told what to do by the US and now we have open court with probably all the underhand dealings being brought into the open.

          It wouldn't surprise me to find out if the NZ politicos are stalling so that their political careers aren't brought to a halt after the case falls over completely (due to no NZ laws being broken therefore the fault will simply be the NZ officials trying to roughshod an extradition to their "friends").

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Getting Interesting now

            "It wouldn't surprise me to find out if the NZ politicos are stalling so that their political careers aren't brought to a halt after the case falls over"

            Older New Zealanders remember a movie called Sleeping Dogs.

            There are parallels.

    2. Dr Stephen Jones

      Re: Getting Interesting now

      "They've been acting as patsies for the FBI"

      The opposite is true. Dotcom was already convicted a convicted fraudster, the NZ authorities knew what he was doing with Mega, but he'd bribed his way into their good books.

      If New Zealand doesn't want to be an international cesspit it should stop falling over for bottom feeders like Dotcom. Harboring fat boy has harmed its reputation.

  3. cat_mara

    "Not gaining anywhere near as much attention, though, are his three former colleagues who are also under extradition charges: Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann, and Bram van der Kolk."

    Which is a pity, really, as "Finn Batato" is up there with "Hotblack Desiato" as one of the most awesome names, ever.

    1. hopkinse

      Interesting comparison, given Mr. Dotcom's current penchant for black. I wonder if the speedo in his G-wagen has black numbers on a black dial.

      The name Hotblack Desiato was borrowed from a London firm of Estate Agents. Wonder what they were smoking when they set that company up :-)

  4. anseljh

    UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

    New Zealand is a party[1] to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

    Under the terms of the treaty[2], I don't see why MEGA wouldn't be an "organized criminal group", and it would seem the US charges would qualify (more than 4 years).

    [1] https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XVIII-12&chapter=18&lang=en

    [2] http://www.un-documents.net/uncatoc.htm

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

      "New Zealand is a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. Under the terms of the treaty, I don't see why MEGA wouldn't be an "organized criminal group", "

      At a guess, I would say because 'transnational' organised crime would be a behaviour that is a recognized crime in all signatory nations - things like murder, armed robbery, people trafficking, trafficking in protected species etc.

      As the article mentions, Kim has not been charged with anything in NZ, which is a pretty good indication that he has done nothing illegal under NZ law, in which case it's unlikely that MEGA would be an 'organized criminal group' under the treaty terms. Having said that I don't have the time, inclination or legal knowledge to trawl to the whole text to verify if that is true.

      From what I've heard about megaupload (never used it myself), but conceptually how different is it from being able to use Google to find infringing material?

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

        UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime looks to be based on people trafficking, firearms smuggling and migrant smuggling. Mega stores the actual objects and has no ability to search for what it stores, it is the exact opposite of google.

      2. g e

        Re: UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

        The difference is likely that Google is an American Co., therefore unable to commit sin

      3. rtb61

        Re: UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

        Consider the difference in persecution 'er' prosecution between megaupload and the mass fraud of major American fiscal institution. The pigopolists main man Joe Biden got the US in-Justice department to do his bidding and involved the US state department to extort agreement from New Zealand.

        The New Zealand government being the sheep to the perverted US sheperd wearing the oversized gumboots and those sheeps back legs are firmly planted in that perverts gum boots.

        So what did Joe Biden and the us-injustice department do to target the mass fraud of America's banksters, why they borrowed billions of pretend money from them via the US (private for profit) Federal Reserve and gave it to them and then pretended they still owed it to them via the US (private for profit) Federal Reserve.

        Corruption in US government and courts has become a joke, unfortunately that joke is on the rest of the world due to the extreme danger posed by the US military industrial complex funded by the corrupt finances of US (private for profit) Federal Reserve.

      4. Dr Stephen Jones

        Re: UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

        "From what I've heard about megaupload (never used it myself), but conceptually how different is it from being able to use Google to find infringing material?"

        Good fuckin' grief. Conceptually it's a website like Google. That's as far as it goes. Practically (and I hate to break the news to you but reality matters in the Court Room) it was a criminal operation, scraping material, paying for stolen material, and profiting from it.

        Comments like this are why there's a retard in the word freetard.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: anseljh Re: UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

      Dear Downvoters, just because you don't like the fact the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime exists, you cannot wish it away just with petulant denial. Kim DotDumb is burning through his cash on delaying and time-wasting legal exercises, but he will end up going to the US and he will then be tried and go to prison. Enjoy!

      1. Youngone Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: anseljh UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

        I hate to break it to you Matt, but he hasn't been charged with anything to do with UN anything.

        This is driven by Hollywood and the FBI.

  5. Captain DaFt

    Huh, whaa?

    "The prosecution argues that it only needs to show that he is possibly guilty of an offense in the US."

    So New Zealand's prosecution is arguing that the US's laws supersedes New Zealand's laws? Does this apply to other country's laws as well?

    So after the US is done with him, they'd also permit him to be extradited to Iraq to face heresy charges if Iran asks nicely?

    Or to Mustphapleka, for the heinous offense of not painting his nipples white?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Huh, whaa?

      Indeed. I gather, then, that the entire population of France is apparently guilty of illegal gas pumping and should be shipped to Oregon and New Jersey for trial.

      There is no chance that such an argument could impress any judge with half a brain. Just using that argument should be grounds for throwing the case out and being subject to a contempt of court case.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Huh, whaa?

        Unless NZ has secretly signed an extradition treaty that says otherwise. Then yes indeed this would be enough.

        I assume this is the same as in the UK; the home secretary can overrule any extradition regardless of what the courts say, for example Andrew Symeou. B Ahmad and T Ahsan were extradited without charge for "terrorism offences" - irrespective of their guilt they were never charged in the UK (although the Met investigated) and after 8 years arguing they were extradited. Irnonically with G McKinnon, the home secretary refused extradition and that particular right has been repealed from the home secretary powers.

  6. PhilipN Silver badge

    Racketeering?

    Seriously???

    Sheesh ... Next time I buy something from an illegal street vendor I know I can dob him into the nearest U.S. Consulate.

  7. Roq D. Kasba

    'Rotund'?

    Yep, for sure he's a chunkier chap, but does a description of a physical attribute have any relevance? How about if he was black, would that be part of the headline? Female? How about a fat black woman?

    I'd have thought for those familiar with Dotcom that they'd already know his size, for those unfamiliar it wouldn't help identify him with the story, so is redundant. How about mentioning his nationality with those few bytes interested? Would seem more relevant and useful.

    Yeah, yeah, downvote, whatever, but we can do better than using someone's size for a jibe, especially when they make it so easy on so many other levels.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: 'Rotund'?

      usually in big news cases these things are reported. Not that it makes much difference but that's the media for you.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: 'Rotund'?

      "does a description of a physical attribute have any relevance? "

      None whatsoever, however if you peruse laudafinem.com and e2nz.org you might get an idea of the NZ psyche. He's a Tall Poppy and as such, a target for abuse.

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: 'Rotund'?

        No question, he's probably a twunt of the highest order in every respect, just he has such a huge attack surface (metaphorically as well as literally) that picking on size is just a bit weak if you want to mock, and redundant if you are conveying case information.

  8. SolidSquid

    "The prosecution argues that it only needs to show that he is possibly guilty of an offense in the US."

    From what I recall of earlier articles, the restriction is that the crime committed has to be a criminal offence in New Zealand in order for him to be extradited. He might not have *committed* the crime there, and so not be liable for charges, but it does have to be a crime. eg Saudi Arabia couldn't extradite people from the US for violating blaspheme laws, even if the blaspheme was accessible in Saudi, because those aren't criminal acts in the US.

    There was a lot of talk early on that there was a particular charge (I can't remember which, something to do with conspiracy I think?) which was really shaky in terms of evidence but *was* a crime in New Zealand and therefore gave grounds for the extradition The suggestion was this had been tacked on purely to fulfil the criteria for extradition but would be dropped as soon as the extradition was done, and that was the reason why the US prosecution was pushing against claims they would need to provide evidence of criminal acts before the extradition

  9. Bota

    While over on YouTube

    Search for "full movies" and watch a wide selection of copyright material. Oh wait, it's the just the NSA approved Google which can break laws? In Kims' defence, if you take the time to read their documents, they took every attempt possible to remove illegal content, with internal emails showing as much. This is a war between the NSA and a successful businessman, I like Kim. He's brash and does what he wants. It's very very sad he lost his family over this, I think the NZ authorities should be going to prison, not Mr .Com.

  10. Anonymous (Noel) Coward
    Devil

    Mr Dotcom's lawyers really have no idea how to generate massive worldwide sympathy from the bleeding heart liberals who jump on every bandwagon.

    They need to get him to "invent" a digital clock, then have the media primed and waiting when he takes it into court to show the judge.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately for Kim, many of the leading bleeding hearts (twitterati) are tied to Hollywood.

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