New Zealand Judge David Harvey, has ordered the US law officials to produce all evidence against Megaupload founder Kim DotCom and five other men within 3 weeks. The Judge made the order after the lawyers for Kim DotCom and the other men asked to see the evidence against his clients. The increasingly controversial case against Mr DotCom and the other managers is being pressed by the New Zealand government on the behest of the United States. So far, the New Zealand and US Government have only shown them a few emails and other documents pertaining to the case which, as Judge David Harvey wrote, “Actions by and on behalf of the requesting State have deprived Mr. Dotcom and his associates of access to records and information.” He further wrote “does not have access to information which may assist him in preparation for trial.”
Ira Rothken, the lawyer overseeing MegaUploads worldwide defence stated:
“I think this is a very significant ruling for New Zealand because it demonstrates that New Zealand courts will intervene to protect the rights of its residents from foreign intrusion…we’re looking forward to this disclosure. Once there is full transparency into the government’s claims we believe Kim DotCom and the rest of those involved with MegaUpload will prevail.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the office that filed the indictment against MegaUpload, declined to comment.
MegaUpload was shut down by the Special Tactics Group, New Zealand’s elite anti-terrorist force who were following US orders. Yes, you read that correctly, they used an elite anti-terrorist force to arrest a man for alleged copyright infringement. The raid on Kim’s house took place on 19th January (mere hours after SOPA was utterly defeated in the US) where the smashed doors and confiscated his property. The warrant that the police had to seize his property turned out to be the wrong type of seizure order, requested by the US, which was then declared “null and void and has no legal effect,” Judge Judith Potter ruled.
The United States wants to try DotCom and the other defendants in its own country and an extradition hearing in New Zealand is scheduled for August 6th 2012.
The electronic tag that Mr DotCom was also ordered to wear in case he decided to escape, was also ordered removed by the Judge.
Here is an exclusive interview that was done by 3News on March 2nd, where he explains what happened to him and his family during the shocking raid.
John Campbell: Kim, you say it was unexpected. Was it totally and absolutely unexpected, did you never, ever
think that this would happen somewhere in the world at some time?
KD: Well, the business is seven years old. We have been sued only once, never by any, you know, movie
company or big content company and we have spent millions of dollars on legal advice over the last few years
and our legal advisers have always told us that we are secure and that we are protected by the DMCA which is a
law in the US that is protecting online service providers of liability for the actions of their users, so it came
JC: What did your lawyers tell you about what you were doing? As we understand Megaupload, in its simplest
terms, it’s a giant kind of exchange system in the sky, right? So you upload something, someone else downloads
something, you’re sharing files, those files could be anything, right? How do you protect yourself against
breaches of copyright by the people using Megaupload?
KD: Well supposedly, and that’s what everyone believed, is that the law is protecting us. We can’t be liable for
actions of third parties, you know? As long as we follow a regime of taking things down that are reported to us,
which we have done over all these years, we are protected, according to the law and, you know, I find it very
surprising that this is happening because like I said we had legal advice all these years telling us that we are an
online service provider and we are not liable for the actions of third parties.