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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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?

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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.

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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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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

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           Office Locations

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Former Policeman Mark Russell is Extradited to Jamaica from the United States To Face a Murder Charge

June 18, 2012

The Gleaner on June 17, 2012 released the following:

“Ex-Cop Extradited! – Jamaica Foots The Bill As US Sends Policeman Back To Island To Face Murder Trial

In a historic move last Friday, a former cop – Mark Russell – was finally extradited from the United States (US) to face a murder charge in Jamaica.

Russell was quietly escorted back to the island last Friday afternoon by two members of the local police force almost five years after the July 2007 murder of 18-year-old Ravin Thompson and three years after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn ruled that he and another former policeman, Morris Lee, were to be charged with the killing of the teenager.

Both men reportedly fled the country before the DPP ruled on the killing.

“It is historic!” Llewellyn said of the return of the former cop.

“(Or) let us put it this way, I can understand if some persons would characterise it as historic,” said Llewellyn, as she told The Sunday Gleaner that she could not recall another case involving a person being extradited from the US to Jamaica to face criminal proceedings.

“I’ve been a prosecutor at the office for the last maybe 26 years … . I certainly would have to say that I have never seen before a former police officer who was on the run being extradited back to Jamaica … ,” said Llewellyn.

“I am aware that he has been extradited to Jamaica. So the next step is that we don our Office of the DPP hat pursuant to section 94 of the Constitution and we proffer a voluntary bill of indictment charging him for murder.”

Llewellyn lauded deputy DPP Jeremy Taylor, head of the extradition unit, and other members of team for their contribution to the case. She also heaped praises on her counterparts in the US.

“I would also have to register my appreciation to our international partners at the justice department who we have always had an excellent working relationship with … and this is just another example as far as we are concerned of the product of that excellent working relationship … and long may it continue,” said Llewellyn.

The DPP explained that the Jamaican Government had to pay for Russell’s flight back to the island because in extradition matters the requesting State is required to foot the cost of repatriating the accused to its country.

“My information is that arrangements were made for law enforcement officers, I think two, to travel to the United States to pick him up and carry him back here,” she revealed.

Early last month, a court in the US threw out an appeal by the fugitive ex-member of the constabulary force, paving the way for his extradition.

The former constable was ordered extradited by a judge in New York last September.

Russell filed an appeal claiming that Jamaican prosecutors had mishandled the evidence relating to his extradition and that he could not get a fair trial here.

But, a US district judge dismissed the appeal and ruled that he should be sent to Jamaica to face the music.

Conflicting accounts

Thompson was killed in what the police said then was a shoot-out with gunmen. But relatives and others who claimed to have witnessed the incident disputed the report saying the teen was murdered by members of a joint police-military team that was on patrol in Whitfield Town, St Andrew.

Local commentators have often lambasted the extradition relations between the US and Jamaica, charging that it is lopsided as no one has ever been extradited from Jamaica’s neighbour up north to face criminal proceedings here.

Llewellyn told our news team that it was one of the regular consultations that her office has with its international partners that resulted in the initiating of the extradition proceedings that culminated on Friday.

“We usually do consultations – formal and informal – from time to time with our international partners at the US Depart-ment of Justice, and when the name came up we checked our files and discovered that it was the same Mark Russell who we had ruled on and that he had fled the jurisdiction,” she said.”

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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 Jamaica 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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Gary McKinnon faces unthinkable ordeal if he is extradited to the US… says the NatWest Three banker hurled into American jail alongside ‘wall-to-wall psychos’

January 9, 2012
Gary McKinnon
(Photo: Henry Nolan) Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon with his mother Janis Sharp

Daily Mail on January 7, 2012 released the following:

“By NICHOLAS PYKE

Gary McKinnon, the computer buff accused of hacking into the Pentagon, faces an ordeal of terrifying brutality if he is extradited to the United States.

That is the verdict of Gary Mulgrew, one of the NatWest Three and the author of a compelling new account of two blood-spattered years spent at the hands of America’s penal system. The book, Gang Of One, is serialised in The Mail on Sunday’s Review today.

Mr McKinnon, 45, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism which, say campaigners on his behalf, means he is too vulnerable for extradition and should be put on trial in the UK.

Mr Mulgrew’s experience will go some way to justifying their fears. Gang Of One details a regime of degradation that began from the moment his plane landed in Houston, Texas, in the summer of 2006.

Stripped naked, threatened and screamed at by the immigration service, he was later sent to a jail controlled by gangs. There, confined to a vast dormitory of ‘wall-to-wall psychos’, he witnessed savage beatings, including one of such ferocity he remains unclear whether the victim lived or died.

This, he says, was despite a promise from the then Prime Minister Tony Blair that he and his fellow accused, David Bermingham and Giles Darby, would be in safe hands.

‘What awaits Gary McKinnon if he is actually extradited to the US is unthinkable,’ said Mr Mulgrew, 49. ‘Why subject a British citizen to such stress and degradation when they could and should be dealt with here in the United Kingdom?’

The case of the NatWest Three generated years of controversy. They were extradited using highly contentious fast-track procedures that require little or no evidence and were originally aimed at tackling international terrorism. The same fast-track treaty has been employed in the McKinnon case.

Despite a parliamentary vote in favour of the three bankers and overwhelming public criticism of the American stance, the Blair Government failed to intervene. The NatWest Three had been accused, wrongly, of playing a part in the 2001 collapse of Enron, one of the world’s biggest commodities and energy companies.

They later pleaded guilty only to breaking the terms of their employment contracts with NatWest – pleas extracted from them, says Mr Mulgrew, as a result of threats from the US Department of Justice.

Referring to his treatment at the Houston immigration suite, where he was abused by two official ‘goons’, he writes: ‘It all seemed so unnecessary, although I learned later this was just the standard fare – everyone extradited got to enjoy this experience. Even then I wondered how Gary McKinnon, for example, a hacker with Asperger’s, would ever cope with such a welcome.

‘I thought of England. Of Tony Blair. I remembered I had heard him saying how we would be well treated.

‘I thought of my family, sitting at home wondering what was happening to me. Probably tuned into News At Ten by now, with some Labour puppet assuring everyone we were in the best possible hands. I wished they could see the hands I was in.’

Mr Mulgrew is now attempting to re-establish his life. Following his release, a video was published in which he described the US trial process as akin to torture. He is particularly angry at the tactics of the US DoJ, which told him that without a guilty plea, he faced a jail sentence so long he would never see his two children grow up.

And he is also critical of America’s claim that any ‘wire fraud’ crossing its national boundaries gives it the right to prosecute. ‘British parents with teenage children should know that a simple email sent through a US server could be enough – in the wrong circumstances – to see them extradited,’ he writes.

Mr McKinnon was arrested ten years ago after allegations he hacked into Nasa and Pentagon computers from his North London home, causing £450,000 damage. He admits breaching the computer systems, saying he was looking for the existence of ‘little green men’, but denies causing damage. US authorities want to jail him for up to 60 years.

His mother Janis Sharp says her son has lived through ten years of daily terror and his mental health is continuing to decline. After failed legal appeals, Mr McKinnon is waiting for a judicial review of whether he is fit to travel to the US.”

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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 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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