Kim Dotcom Resigns Mega to Focus on Fighting Extradition to the United States and Other Projects

September 4, 2013

The New Zealand Herald on September 4, 2013 released the following:

“Flamboyant internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has resigned as a director of his Mega data storage empire to focus on his efforts on fighting extradition to the United States and other projects.

Dotcom resigned as a director of Mega on Aug 29, and was replaced by Hong Kong-based Bonnie Lam the same day, according to filings to the Companies Office.

Dotcom staged a full-scale global media launch for Mega last year to replace Megaupload, his previous venture which was shut down in a US-led operation that alleged the file-sharing firm and its owners had committed mass copyright infringement and money laundering of more than US$500 million. Tony Lentino and Mathias Ortmann are still on Mega’s board.

Mega chief executive Vikram Kumar told BusinessDesk in an emailed statement Dotcom resigned “to be able to focus on the extradition case, an upcoming music website, and to build a political party.”

Dotcom doesn’t hold any directorships in New Zealand, and has one direct shareholding in RSV Holdings, according to Companies Office filings. His wife, Mona, is a director of Mr KimDotcom Ltd and a director and shareholder in MD Corporate Trustee Ltd, the biggest shareholder in Mega.

Earlier this week Dotcom told followers on Twitter he planned to launch a political party in New Zealand, with the next election likely to be near the end of next year, and has previously signalled plans for web-based music service called Megabox.

Dotcom and his co-accused Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk have taken their case to the Supreme Court, seeking access to evidence in the US Federal government’s case to extradite them, and are awaiting a decision.

The District and High Courts upheld their request for a trimmed down disclosure, though that was overturned in the Court of Appeal earlier this year.

Dotcom’s high profile arrest in January last year led to an overhaul of New Zealand’s external spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, after the intelligence unit unlawfully intercepted his communications. At the time of the surveillance, the GCSB wasn’t allowed to spy on New Zealand residents and Dotcom had been granted residency.

The government has since tweaked the law governing the spy agency, allowing it to act on behalf of the domestic spy agency, the Security Intelligence Service, the police or the Defence Force.”

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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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“Dotcom’s NZ extradition hearing cancelled”

June 10, 2013

Herald Sun on June 10, 2013 released the following:

AAP

“THE hearing to decide if internet piracy accused Kim Dotcom will be extradited to the United States has been postponed from August until at least November, and may not be until April next year.

That means the extradition hearing could be held more than two years after Dotcom was arrested after the Hollywood-style police raid on his mansion north of Auckland.

A spokeswoman for North Shore District Court told AAP Dotcom’s August date had been vacated and was now scheduled to start on November 21.

A back-up date of April 14 has also been set aside if further delays develop.

The hearing – which has now been delayed several times – is expected to take several weeks.

Dotcom and his co-accused were arrested in January, 2012, and an extradition hearing was meant to be held the next month.

However, after it was revealed police botched the raid’s search warrant and New Zealand’s spy agency the GCSB illegally spied on Dotcom, a German who had become resident in New Zealand, the case has become mired in delays and court action over evidence and charges.

The US is trying to extradite Dotcom, Finn Batato, Bram van der Kolk and Mathias Ortmann over allegations their Megaupload website netted more than $US175 million ($A184 million) in criminal proceeds.

The US says it cost Hollywood’s copyright owners more than $US500 million by offering pirated copies of movies and television shows.

Megaupload was shut down after the raid but Dotcom has since launched a similar site called Mega, which doesn’t use US-based servers.

Dotcom denies the charges and says he is a political target for Hollywood.”

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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

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“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

————————————————————–

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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NZ launches inquiry into spying in Megaupload case

September 24, 2012

Chicago Tribune on September 23, 2012 released the following:

“Reuters

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has launched a inquiry into “unlawful” spying by government agents leading to the arrest of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who is fighting extradition to the United States where he faces charges of internet piracy and breaking copyright laws.

The probe may deal another blow to the U.S. case after a New Zealand court ruled in June that search warrants used in the raid on Dotcom’s home earlier this year, requested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, were illegal.

Key has asked the government’s Intelligence and Security division to investigate “circumstances of unlawful interception of communications of certain individuals by the Government Communications Security Bureau”, his office said in a statement on Monday.

Key’s spokesman would not comment on whether the “certain individuals” referred to Dotcom, his three colleagues also arrested and facing U.S. charges, or all of them.

“The Bureau had acquired communications in some instances without statutory authority,” Key’s statement said.

New Zealand authorities arrested Dotcom and his colleagues at his rented country estate near Auckland in January, confiscating computers and hard drives, works of art, and cars.

The FBI accuses the flamboyant Dotcom, a 38-year-old German national also known as Kim Schmitz, of leading a group that netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, films and other copyrighted content without authorization.

“I welcome the inquiry by (Key) into unlawful acts by the GCSB,” Dotcom said on his Twitter account.

Dotcom maintains that the Megaupload site was no more than an online storage facility, and has accused Hollywood of lobbying the U.S. government to vilify him.

The raid and evidence seizure has already been ruled illegal and a court has ruled that Dotcom should be allowed to see the evidence on which the extradition hearing will be based.

U.S. authorities have appealed against that ruling, and a decision is pending.”

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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

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Govt lawyers red-faced after FBI spirits Dotcom evidence to US

May 23, 2012

New Zealand Herald on May 24, 2012 released the following:

“By David Fisher

The Government’s lawyers have been ordered to explain how the FBI left the country with evidence in the Kim Dotcom case meant to be kept in “secure custody” by New Zealand police.

High Court Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann has told the Attorney-General’s lawyer, Mike Ruffin, he has until Monday to explain why FBI agents were allowed to take 135 cloned computer and data storage devices to the United States.

At a legal challenge at the High Court in Auckland yesterday, Dotcom’s lawyer Paul Davison, QC, called the revelation “high-handed” at best and “at the worst misleading”.

Mr Davison and lawyers for Dotcom’s three co-accused want a judicial review into search warrants used during FBI-inspired raids on January 20. Dotcom, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortman and Bram van der Kolk were arrested over allegations of criminal copyright violation through their file-sharing website Megaupload.

Mr Davison said he asked for assurances in correspondence with Mr Ruffin’s predecessor, Anne Toohey, that no evidence would leave New Zealand shores unless on the back of a court decision.

Crown Law had told him it had “not happened and will not happen without prior warning”. He said yesterday was the first time he was aware any material had left the country and there had been an agreement to maintain the “status quo” over the evidence. “There is no approval for the removal of these clones from New Zealand. There has been an excess of authority.”

Mr Davison said the correspondence included a statement from the head of the police organised crime squad, Detective Inspector Grant Wormald, that the belongings were held in secure custody.

He said Dotcom’s rights had been “subverted or disregarded or worse”.

The revelation is the latest embarrassment for the Crown, which has already been exposed for fumbling parts of the case. It used the wrong law to get a court order to seize Dotcom’s assets – an error which contributed to the police having to offer an undertaking of liability. There had earlier been discontent over the size, scale and style of the police raid which Davison has said will form a complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Yesterday, Mr Ruffin said he was aware the cloned copies had been sent out of New Zealand. However, he said he was unaware of Ms Toohey’s assurances to Mr Davison.

Mr Ruffin told the court a set of digital images copied from the computers had been taken to the US. “The actual items seized under the search warrant remain in New Zealand,” he said.

The Crown Law Office and Attorney-General Chris Finlayson refused to comment.”

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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: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


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.