Earlier today, news broke that Kim Dotcom, the larger-than-life Megaupload founder known for his love of sportscars and supermodels, won a key victory in the case against him.
A judge just ruled that prosecutors had to turn over docs with evidence against him so he could defend himself against extradition demands — a request that prosecutors had long denied, TorrentFreak notes.
Recall that the New Zealand resident is on the hook for money laundering, racketeering, and copyright infringement charges. The U.S. Department of Justice has been working since his January arrest to bring him to America for trial.
Almost immediately after legal proceedings began, however, it’s been increasingly unclear whether Kim Dotom will ever face charges in court.
Some of the decisions that put to question the charges’ viability stem from New Zealand’s treatment of Dotcom thus far, as the country’s courts seem to be ruling considerably in his favor.
More of a red flag, though, is that the case already abounds with legal irregularities. Kim Dotcom was never formally served with papers — which is necessary to start the trial.
Dotcom’s lawyer said that foreign companies can’t be readily served outside of U.S. jurisdiction, prompting a judge handling the case to say: “I frankly don’t know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter.”
In addition, some have identified a problem with the laws’ application. Attorneys have said that racketeering charges, which usually get tacked onto accused gangsters, seem like a bizarro interpretation of criminal statute.
And as further mentioned by InformationWeek, other file-sharing sites have beat criminal raps “by using the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which provide immunity to a site that promptly takes down infringing content.”
Copyright holders allege that Megaupload didn’t take down infringing material as requested, but a legal expert cited by InformationWeek said that prosecutors would need to prove criminal intent, which might be more than a bit of a stretch.
Long story short, seem to abound in the case against Kim Dotcom.
We reached out to the Department of Justice to see if they had anything to say about this recent decision. We also wanted to know how much these legal proceedings have cost U.S. taxpayers — especially since they might not amount to anything. The DOJ has declined comment at this time.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 30, 2012