“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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“Kim Dotcom wins another round in his battle against extradition”

December 7, 2012

infosecurity-magazine.com on December 7, 2012 released the following updated story:

“Kim Dotcom was arrested, and Megaupload seized just under a year ago. Since then Dotcom has been fighting extradition to the United States, while the New Zealand authorities have repeatedly bungled the case against him.

Dotcom’s first victory was to have the original search warrants declared invalid, and the search therefore illegal. “The search and seizure was therefore illegal,” said Judge Helen Winkelmann at the time.

Next, New Zealand prime minister John Key admitted that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had been illegally spying on Dotcom. “Mr Key expressed his disappointment that unlawful acts had taken place.”

Now Dotcom has succeeded in drawing the spy agency deeper into the case. In an important ruling yesterday, Judge Winkelmann has ordered GCSB to ‘confirm all entities’ to which it gave illegally obtained data. This could be hugely embarrassing for the other four members of the ‘Five Eyes/Echelon’ international spy group (US, UK, Australia and Canada). “The order for the Government Communications Security Bureau (GSCB) to reveal top-secret details came along with an order the spy agency would now sit alongside the police as a defendant as the court continued to probe the unlawful search warrant used in the raid on Dotcom’s north Auckland mansion,” reports the New Zealand Herald.

This was despite the Crown’s concerns that revealing information, including how GCSB works with its intelligence allies, could ‘compromise New Zealand’s national security interests.’ Judge Winkelmann dismissed this and appointed security cleared Stuart Grieve QC to view the top secret information and judge its relevance to the case.

Dotcom is, needless to say, cock-a-hoop, tweeting, “Lets see about US involvement in illegal GCSB spying on New Zealand residents. The truth will come out, in court,” and “It’s hard to keep quiet until we show our intel in court. You’ve seen nothing yet. The big stuff is still to come. Stay tuned!”

Meanwhile, the ramifications of the ruling are being analyzed. Now that GCSB is to be added as a defendant in the review of the police raid, it means that Dotcom can sue. ZDnet reports opposition leader Winston Peters, “This will end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees to fight the case and in compensation to Dotcom.”

There is still one further twist to Judge Winkelmann’s ruling. “Winkelmann has also ordered Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett — a police liaison officer in Washington — swear an affidavit if he watched a ‘live feed’ of the raid on Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion on January 20 from the FBI’s multi-agency command centre” in Washington, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. He has apparently already told an internal publication that he did – but Detective Inspector Grant Wormald, in overall charge of the operation, has previously stated in an affidavit “that there was no live coverage of the operations going on at the Dotcom mansion.” Judge Winkelmann wants to know the truth.

This article is featured in:
Internet and Network Security”

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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: