“Megaupload founder wins access to evidence seized in raid”

June 3, 2013

Reuters on May 31, 2013 released the following:

“(Reuters) – A New Zealand court granted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom access on Friday to all evidence seized by police in a 2012 raid, bolstering the Internet entrepreneur’s fight against extradition to the United States to face online piracy charges.

Repeating its decision that warrants used in the raid on Dotcom’s home were illegal, the High Court ruled that police must provide copies of evidence considered relevant to the U.S. investigation. These include materials forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Any evidence seized in the raid, including computers, hard drives, files, and other materials deemed irrelevant must be returned to the founder of the shuttered file-sharing site.

“The police are to review digital data storage devices and return any to the plaintiffs that contain no relevant material,” Justice Helen Winkelmann said in a statement. Police, she said, may retain other storage devices but had to “provide a clone of those devices to the plaintiffs”.

Acting on a request from U.S. authorities, New Zealand police arrested Dotcom and three colleagues.

Dotcom’s lawyers have argued that lack of access to the seized evidence put them at a disadvantage in defending the German national and his colleagues against extradition.

The United States has launched a criminal investigation into Megaupload, arguing that it facilitated online piracy, and participated in racketeering and money laundering.

Dotcom, who has New Zealand residency, says the site was merely a storage facility for online files and should not be held accountable if stored content was obtained illegally.

An extradition hearing is scheduled for August, but may be delayed due to separate cases linked to another court ruling that unlawful warrants were used in the police raid.

The copyright case could set a precedent for Internet liability laws and, depending on its outcome, may force entertainment companies to rethink their distribution methods.

The U.S. Justice Department says Megaupload cost copyright holders such as movie studios and record companies more than $500 million and generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds. It described the case as being among the largest ever involving criminal copyright.

Dotcom launched a new file-sharing service, Mega, in January.”

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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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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

————————————————————–

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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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

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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Kim Dotcom: I’ll extradite myself to US if they give my money back

July 12, 2012

The Guardian on July 10, 2012 released the following:

“Megaupload founder fighting extradition from New Zealand says he is determined to beat American authorities at their ‘foul game’

Toby Manhire in Auckland

From a semi-rural suburb north of Auckland, Kim Dotcom is mounting an increasingly belligerent counter-offensive against US authorities’ efforts to prosecute him over his now defunct Megaupload file storage site.

In an interview with the Guardian, Dotcom, who remains on bail in Coatesville, New Zealand, awaiting an extradition hearing, declared himself to be in “fighting mood” and eager to refute a “case built on malicious conduct”.

The charges against him, he said, were part of a “foul game” on the part of the US government, and that funds permitting, “I am going to war.”

Dotcom is being sought by the US to face criminal copyright charges related to the MegaUpload file storage site, which at its peak amounted for an estimated 4% of all internet traffic.

Prosecutors allege he and his co-accused associates were complicit in and encouraged the distribution of copyright-protected films, music and other material.

The German-born New Zealand resident’s remarks, in an email interview with the Guardian, follow Tuesday’s announcement that his extradition hearing, scheduled to begin in less than a month, has been put back until April next year.

On Wednesday morning Dotcom laid down the gauntlet to the US department of justice, offering to travel to the US under his own steam and faces charges – with conditions. “Hey DOJ,” Dotcom said on his Twitter account, “we will go to the US. No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers and living expenses.”

He told the Guardian that the offer was genuine but he was not holding his breath. “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,” he said.

“We are not expecting to hear back regarding the offer and I remain committed to fighting extradition in New Zealand.”

Dotcom has 22 lawyers working on his case in different countries. He says he faces a mounting legal bill, exacerbated by the rescheduled extradition hearing.

The delay was made inevitable by the need to first resolve a clutter of outstanding legal disputes. The Auckland high court ruled last month that the January raid on Dotcom’s mansion was conducted illegally, that evidence has been wrongly withheld from his legal team, and that the FBI had inappropriately cloned hard drives and taken them from the country.

An earlier district court instruction for the FBI to provide copies of cloned drives to Dotcom’s lawyers is expected to be appealed, and other decisions may also be taken to higher courts.

Those who interpreted the postponement as a victory for Dotcom were mistaken, he told the Guardian. “People might think it’s good news. But it’s not. Justice delayed is justice denied. And that’s the foul game the US government is playing. They have terminated my business without a trial. They have frozen my assets without a hearing.

“They are appealing the decision of a New Zealand judge who has ordered the US government to provide evidence before the extradition hearing starts.”

US authorities had dragged other countries into a vendetta driven by special interests, he said. “They have been misleading the Hong Kong and New Zealand government to destroy a legitimate business and 220 jobs by telling them stories about child pornography and terrorist propaganda on Megaupload,” he said.

“This whole case is built on malicious conduct. It is a stillborn case and everyone can see it. I am in a fighting mood and if I get my assets unlocked or somehow find funding to defend myself I am going to war.”

The Megaupload founder last week alleged that the pursuit of Dotcom was directly ordered by the US vice-president, Joe Biden, at the behest of Hollywood studio executives – a claim the Motion Picture Association of America has rejected.

Next in Dotcom’s sights is Biden’s boss, in a rather more colourful medium. Dotcom, who has been recording an album with the help of Black Eyed Peas producer Printz Board at studios belonging to Crowded House’s Neil Finn, is expected to release a new song and video this week pointing the finger directly at Barack Obama. The song reportedly includes the lyrics “”We must oppose / those who chose / to turn innovation into crime”.

The track, Dotcom wrote in an email to the Guardian, would mark “the birth of a powerful movement and CHANGE””

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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

Email:


Megaupload: Kim Dotcom May Regain Possessions, Modern Warfare Crown

March 21, 2012

Forbes on March 19, 2012 released the following:

“In a potentially embarrassing turn of events for the case against Kim “Dotcom” Schmitz, former head of Megaupload and perhaps the third most famous Kim currently living, it seems that the seizure of his property may be overturned as a result of a misfiled restraint order by the New Zealand Police.

Schmitz, a German national, is currently fighting extradition from New Zealand to the US to be prosecuted on charges relating to copyright-infringing material being made available through Megaupload.com and its partner sites. Although Megaupload did not directly sell the allegedly infringing content, it profited from advertising revenues based on page views and subscription fees from premium members. According to the indictment, the damage to copyright holders from Megaupload’s activities totals more than $500,000,000 – although the statistical metrics behind this calculation remain uncertain.

According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, Dotcom’s assets were impounded under an order which precluded the possibility of Him mounting a legal defense to re-acquire them. Described as a procedural error, this will nonetheless look to critics of the handling of the case like the misuse of extreme legal measures designed to battle terrorists and avert loss of life. This narrative has been ongoing since the deployment of armed STG officers – the New Zealand equivalent of SWAT – in the initial raid. Schmitz is a keen and fierce competitor in Activision’s Modern Warfare video game: one consequence of his incarceration before release on bail was the loss of his status as Modern Warfare 3′s highest-ranking multiplayer competitor. This will make for an interesting emotional damages claim in any countersuit.

New Zealand’s Crown Law Office – mindful, no doubt, that when they mess up it makes the Queen look bad – promptly applied for the correct restraining order, listing for seizure items that had already been seized under the previous order. Justice Judith Potter has already declared that the initial order was null and void, and will shortly address claims by Schmitz’ legal team that the property should be returned to their client’s control forthwith.

If the property is returned, along with a number of servers and tools of his trade Schmitz will be able once again to enjoy his Predator Statue, $17,500 Devon Tread 1 wristwatch and perhaps enjoy a game of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on one of the many enormous TV screens which were seized in the initial raid. Having secured a release on bail in spite of FBI opposition, Schmitz recently made statements to the file-sharing news site Torrentfreak expressing the hope that will soon to be able to reveal the identities of his site’s biggest users in the Department of Justice. If this tactic – of apparently trolling the case against – pays off, Schmitz may be able to say to his prosecutors, as he did to his victims on the virtual battlefield:

“Don’t hate me because I beat you. Respect me because I teach you :)”

However, the DoJ, whose lack of a sense of humour is generally comsidered a feature rather than a bug, may prove a tougher foe than 15 million Xbox antagonists. It’s not all bad news for American copyright abroad – nearer to home, the Crown signed off on the quickie extradition of Richard o’Dwyer for sharing links to copyright-infringing material on his TVShack website, using an extradition act signed hurriedly into law in 2003 as a vital tool in the war against terror. If the line between piracy and terrorism becomes blurred in the eyes of content providers and lawmakers, Dotcom may yet have cause to regret his vaunted gift with a virtual assault rifle.”

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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.