Since January, we have been following the developments around Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom’s court proceedings and have started to seriously wonder: Will the case even get to trial?
Specifically, we’re concerned with a question that raised in New Zealand back in April, when a judge said that because Dotcom was never formally served with papers by the U.S.: “I frankly don’t know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter.”
Well, it looks like Dotcom has just decided to use this point to his advantage.
Dotcom, who is still fighting extradition to the U.S., has just filed a motion to dismiss in the Eastern District of Virginia, according to TorrentFreak.
Yes, motions to dismiss get filed in criminal cases all the time.
However, the key thing here is that this doc points exactly to the New Zealand judge’s opinion — that the U.S. messed up by not serving Dotcom papers.
Also important? Dotcom’s legal team had also beaten American demands that he return to jail and the New Zealand government agreed to return some of his assets.
Shortly after filing the motion to dismiss, Dotcom made a similar petition to get some of his money back from the U.S., which has seized $67 million and tried to lock down $175 million more. Dotcom, TorrentFreak notes, claims that this equates to all the revenue ever generated by Megaupload, potentially a legally dodgy position. From the motion:
“The premise of the Government’s forfeiture request is that Megaupload never earned a single penny that was not criminal under U.S. law — whether, say, from a non-infringing use of its service, or from use that occurred wholly outside the United States and beyond reach of U.S. law, or even from an infringing use within the United States as to which Defendants nonetheless qualify for a statutory safe harbor or lacked requisite criminal intent.”
We’re going to try to get a comment from the Department of Justice (staffers wouldn’t talk to us yesterday.) But we’ll update if we hear back or if there are any new developments.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 31, 2012