New Zealand Calls For FBI Evidence In Megaupload Case
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
A New Zealand court on Thursday ruled that US authorities must show evidential proof of any copyright breaches and internet piracy against Mr. Kim Dotcom, the founder-in-hiding of now defunct Megaupload.com, according to Reuters.
The FBI has accused Mr. Dotcom of operating a site which allowed users to share copyrighted content, such as movies, music and software, without any authorization. Since 2005, Dotcom earned an estimated $175 million through his website, a fortune which he has used to lead an elaborate and extravagant life filled with mansions, pink cars and rap videos.
At the beginning of the year, New Zealand authorities, with the help of the FBI, raided the Megaupload founder’s mansion near Auckland, confiscating computers, hard drives and some of Dotcom’s personal possessions. Despite this raid, the evidence obtained has been deemed illegal and cannot be used against Mr. Dotcom in his trial. Furthermore, it has been ruled that Dotcom will be allowed to see the evidence his detractors will be using to base their case against him upon.
“Without access to materials relevant to the extradition hearing phase, the person sought will be significantly constrained in his or her ability to participate in the hearing,” wrote Justice Helen Winkelmann in her written judgement.
According to Justice Winkelmann, the United States would have an unfair advantage over Dotcom at next year’s extradition hearing if he had no access to this evidence.
In addition, Justice Winkelmann also ruled that the document used to ask for Dotcom’s extradition did not comply with the law.
In a separate matter, Kim Dotcom asked another court to free up his funds so he can pay some of the legal bills he’s been racking up during this process.
Dotcom has previously attempted to make a deal with US officials in order to free up his frozen accounts and assets. In a July Tweet, Dotcom taunted US authorities, saying,“Hey DOJ, we will go to the US No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers and living expenses.”
Though Dotcom said he was quite serious about his offer, he didn’t expect anything to come from it.
Speaking to the Guardian last month, he vented his frustrations by saying, “Considering the way the US government has conducted their case and the way I was treated, I never expect to get a fair trial in the United States.”
Later, Dotcom spoke with the New Zealand Herald, saying: “They are sitting on all my money. I have no money to pay my lawyers. Every move they make, they know I have to send my lawyers there. They make it so I have no chance in the long run to defend myself. Lawyers need money too,”
Shortly after Justice Winkelmann’s ruling on Thursday, Dotcom decided once more to taunt his detractors as he took to Twitter to say he had a message for the Motion Picture Association of America, the organization he is said to have stolen millions of dollars from. His message, not surprisingly, was a juvenile picture of a drawn finger pointing to the word “LOSER” in all capitals.
Mr. Dotcom has plans to release a rap album in the near future.