New Zealand judge in Kim Dotcom extradition case steps down after jokingly calling US ‘enemy’

July 18, 2012

The Washington Post on July 18, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A New Zealand judge has stepped down from overseeing the extradition case of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom after jokingly referring to the United States as “the enemy.”

The comment by Auckland District Court Judge David Harvey raised questions about his impartiality. He was discussing Internet copyright at a conference last week when he told an audience, “We have met the enemy, and he is U.S.”

Harvey’s comments referencing late cartoonist Walt Kelly were recorded and posted on the Internet.

The U.S. is attempting to extradite Dotcom on racketeering and money laundering charges that allege his file-sharing site was facilitating massive Internet piracy.

Harvey will be replaced by judge Nevin Dawson. An extradition hearing has been scheduled for March.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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US ‘the enemy’ says Dotcom judge

July 16, 2012

New Zealand Herald on July 16, 2012 released the following:

“By Hamish Fletcher

The judge due to hear Kim Dotcom’s extradition case has referred to the United States as “the enemy” in a discussion about copyright law.

District Court Judge David Harvey has heard parts of the case against the Megaupload founder, who was arrested with three colleagues in January after a request from the United States. The FBI has accused Dotcom and others working at Megaupload website of the world’s biggest case of criminal copyright violation.

Judge Harvey is not due to hear the internet mogul’s extradition case until next year but made his views on copyright known during the launch of the “Fair Deal” campaign last week.

The campaign is opposing any changes to New Zealand’s copyright laws that may form part of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

The TPP trade deal is currently being negotiated and the 13th round of talks are finishing up.

The negotiations are secret but it is known that the United States entertainment industry is pushing for stronger copyright provisions among the 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region negotiating the deal.

When talking about how the TPP would affect copyright in New Zealand, Harvey said it could stop the practice of hacking around DVD region codes.

These codes can mean movie players in New Zealand are unable to read DVDs from other parts of the world such as the United States.

It is legal in New Zealand to use methods to get around these regional codes and make the DVDs watchable but Judge Harvey said the TPP would change this.

“Under TPP and the American Digital Millennium copyright provisions you will not be able to do that, that will be prohibited… if you do you will be a criminal – that’s what will happen. Even before the 2008 amendments it wasn’t criminalised. There are all sorts of ways this whole thing is being ramped up and if I could use Russell [Brown’s] tweet from earlier on: we have met the enemy and he is [the] U.S.”

Judge Harvey’s remark is a play on the line “we have met the enemy and he is us” by American cartoonist Walt Kelly.

The judge had used Kelly’s quip while speaking at an internet conference earlier last week and it was promoted on Twitter by Public Address journalist Russell Brown.

Judge Harvey, who has served on the bench since 1989, would not comment when asked if these statements were appropriate given his involvement in Kim Dotcom’s case.

Auckland University law professor Bill Hodge said the comments could be seen as “unhelpful”.

However, without knowing the details of the TPP discussion or related copyright issues he was unable to say whether the comments were appropriate.

“To the extent that the North Shore District Court has some jurisdiction, it can be seen as probably an extra-judicial comment that isn’t helpful.

“But on the other hand, it was part of a quasi-academic conference discussing developing areas of law. I think judges should be free to make comments, as long as it doesn’t appear to show any predetermination with respect to the specific case in the court before them.”

Crown Law, which is representing the FBI in the extradition case, would not comment on the issue.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

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           Office Locations

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Megaupload extradition case delayed until March 2013

July 10, 2012

BBC on July 10, 2012 released the following:

A decision on whether Megaupload employees should be extradited to the US on copyright and fraud charges has been delayed until 2013.

A New Zealand judge has postponed next month’s hearing to allow more time to resolve legal arguments.

It follows earlier rulings regarding the rights of the accused and the legality of a raid on the file-sharing site creator Kim Dotcom’s mansion.

The US is set to appeal against both decisions.

The case has been rescheduled provisionally for 25 March.

Lost earnings

Mr Dotcom has been accused of copyright theft, money laundering and racketeering fraud and faces a jail sentence of up to 20 years if convicted in the US.

Prosecutors allege that pirated movies and other content shared through his site cost copyright holders more than $500m (£322m) in lost earnings, making it one of the biggest cases of its kind.

They claim Megaupload’s staff paid users “whom they specifically knew uploaded infringing content”, potentially encouraging the practice.

The US Department of Justice alleges the firm made about $175m from advertising and membership fees as a result of its activities.

Mr Dotcom’s lawyers deny the charges saying the site simply offered an online storage service and that the majority of its traffic was “legitimate”.

‘One-sided’

The US filed a formal request for the extradition of Mr Dotcom and three of his associates in March but has faced a series of setbacks in New Zealand’s courts.

In May a judge said the US should share the evidence it had gathered from its seizure of Megaupload’s computer equipment before the extradition hearing to prevent it from becoming a “one-sided” affair.

In June another judge ruled that the search warrants used to raid Mr Dotcom’s home had been invalid because they had failed to “adequately describe” the offences being investigated.

Mr Dotcom is currently under house arrest at his Auckland home. He has been tweeting his thoughts since a ban preventing him using the internet was lifted in April.

“Dirty delay tactics by the US,” he wrote after learning of the latest development.

“They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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Home secretary upholds decision to extradite Richard O’Dwyer

July 9, 2012

The Guardian on July 9, 2012 released the following:

By: James Ball and Alan Travis

“Theresa May says she will not review case that could see Sheffield student facing 10 years in US jail

The home secretary, Theresa May, has told the House of Commons that she will not revisit plans to extradite Sheffield Hallam student Richard O’Dwyer to the US on copyright charges, saying the decision had “already been taken”.

O’Dwyer faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in a US jail for alleged copyright offences, for which the UK declined to press charges. The charges relate to a website, tvshack.net, which O’Dwyer when he was 19 and which linked to places to watch TV and films online.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launched a campaign against his extradition late last month, including a petition which on Monday hit 225,000 signatures, primarily from the UK and the US.

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who has previously raised concerns over several US extradition cases, asked May at home secretary’s questions in the Commons on Monday if she planned to review the case, given that it involved “an offence, if it is one, that our own authorities thought did not merit a prosecution.”

May, who must personally approve extraditions under the US/UK treaty, said the decision had been taken and O’Dwyer must rely on his court appeal.

“As you know that case is due to go to court later this year,” she said. “As regards the extradition decision, that has already been taken and, as you know, I have decided to uphold the extradition.”

Previous campaigns against extradition have called on home secretaries to review their decisions to extradite, most famously in the case of Chile’s General Pinochet, where former prime minister Margaret Thatcher called on the Labour home secretary to revoke his permission for extradition.

Wales is currently seeking a meeting with May and her advisors to discuss the O’Dwyer case. In his call for the meeting, he said: “The home secretary continues to ignore hundreds of thousands of citizens, the UK tech community, business leaders, celebrities and MPs from all parties on this issue.

“She should be very clear that we are not going to go away and new supporters are joining the campaign all the time.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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Dotcom extradition case costs mounting

April 11, 2012

tvnz.co.nz on April 11, 2012 released the following:

“Source: ONE News

More than $1 million has so far been spent on the extradition case for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom.

The United States wants to extradite Dotcom on copyright, money laundering and racketeering charges arising from his internet business and he is awaiting a hearing.

New Zealand Crown lawyers have been battling on behalf of the US Government, and figures obtained by ONE News under the Official Information Act show the figure has already reached more than $1,120,000.

In total, 13 Crown lawyers have been involved with the case including the two senior counsel in court, the Solicitor General and Deputy Solicitor General and nine other lawyers.

Based on Crown Law office information on lawyers’ time, ONE News estimates their cost at nearly one million dollars so far. Added to that is $70,000 for Dotcom’s arrest and seizure of his assets, another $62,000 to store and insure those assets and just over $20,000 on costs such as travel and accommodation for the Crown’s legal team.

The cost is being met by the New Zealand Government because of a 1970 treaty which says it will pay for extradition cases here on behalf of the United States, while the US Government will pay costs when New Zealand wants people extradited from America.

The reciprocal deal is not universally popular, however.

“If the case is being brought on behalf of the overseas government, and for the benefit of the overseas government, than they should be paying the cost,” extradition lawyer Grant Illingworth told ONE News.

With another five months of legal wrangling ahead legal professionals believe this could be the most expensive extradition case ever heard in New Zealand.

Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman Phil Goff said the situation could prove expensive for the Government.

“The problem in this case is that while the United States is calling the shots, it’s the New Zealand taxpayer that meets the cost and potential liability. I hope the government’s got the process right,” he told ONE News.

The Government says the costs of the case are “non-billable”, so no actual money will be changing hands. Rather, it says the costs will be absorbed into its legal budget.

Dotcom is currently under house arrest at his Coatesville home, although he was recently granted permission to use a swimming pool in a neighbouring property and make occasional visits to a recording studio to finish work on an album.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Kim Dotcom allegedly ridicules charges against him

March 28, 2012
Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom

RT on March 28, 2012 released the following:

“On Monday MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom said he is preparing an “entertaining” motion in response to the US government’s charges against him.

The German born, New Zealand millionaire who spent approximately five weeks behind bars for allegedly running the largest media piracy operation, said in an interview with Torrent Freak that not all of the charges against him are accurate.

Dotcom was accused of illegally uploading millions of songs. But according to the millionaire himself many of charges against him are absolutely inaccurate. For example, Dotcom cites an audio file of a song by the rapper 50 Cent he was accused of illegally downloading and distributing. In reality, the New Zealander claims the file was legally purchased.

The file’s link was emailed to several of his friends for the purpose of testing the website’s new email feature. Furthermore, Dotcom claimed the song had a total of zero downloads.

The indictment filed by the US government for his alleged involvement in an online conspiracy that authorities claim stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the entertainment industry, states the 50 Cent email he sent was part of the prosecution’s evidence.

According to Kim Schmitz, aka Dotcom, the file was legally purchased and posted back in 2006 and isn’t relevant due to the statute of limitation having been expired.

In addition to the 50 Cent file, Schmitz also contended that a Louis Armstrong song mentioned in the indictment was also legally bought.

“The indictment contained an email in which I suggested to provide Warner Brothers with a limited number of deletes per day,” Dotcom said in his interview.

“In fact, days later Warner Brothers got the maximum quota of 100,000 deletes per day,” Dotcom said in response to allegations of his refusal to cooperate with the media giant.

Dotcom believes the fact the he was willing to remove the material for his site verifies that he was more than willing to cooperate with copyright holders. Warner Brothers also was able to impede part of the problem by using MegaUpload’s built in tool that allowed for reporting of copy written material on the site.

According to Dotcom, the tool aided Warner Brothers in removing more than one million files from the notorious site.

Dotcom also added that not all users were transferring “pirated” material and claims the recent happenings have hurt those users who held accounts strictly from the purpose of transferring files over long distances without the need of a hard drive, memory stick or DVD. Among those members he added that 15,000 were US military servicemen that probably used their account to share photos with loved ones back home.

Since he set bail in early March, Dotcom has been under house arrests and has been critical on how the US government has handled the situation.

The seven year operator of the MegaUpload has slammed the entertainment industry and the politicians behind the legal proceeding claiming his site’s policies are no different than that of YouTube.

“If you read the indictment and if you hear what the prosecution has said in court, at least $500 million of damage were just music files and just within a two-week time period. So they are actually talking about $13 billion damage within a year just for music downloads. The entire US music industry is less than $20 billion,”explained Dotcom in an interview with New Zealand’s 3news earlier this month.

“In my opinion, the government of the United States protecting an outdated monopolistic business model that doesn’t work anymore in the age of the Internet and that’s what it all boils down to,”he added.

Dotcom promised the motion would soon come.

Amidst a pending extradition request by the US, Dotcom may have the case shift further in his favor, especially after a New Zealand judge ruled that law enforcement apprehended his possessions with a fake warrant. The authorities behind this have filed for another warrant, but if the judge denies the request Dotcom could have access to all his assets once again.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.