Judge orders US Government to disclose crucial Megaupload evidence

By Lee Kaelin on May 30, 2012, 5:30 PM

Kim Dotcom, the founder of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload scored a minor yet important victory yesterday, after a New Zealand Judge ruled that the U.S. Government must hand over the evidence they have against Megaupload so Kim Dotcom and other employees can properly defend themselves.

In his 81-page court decision (PDF), New Zealand District Judge David Harvey ordered the United States of America to furnish evidence requested by Dotcom's lawyers in order to prepare for the upcoming extradition hearing on August 6. The Judge rejected the US Government's claims that the defendants could make do with the previously supplied information it had chosen to introduce in court.

Dotcom's attorney Ira Rothken argued that they were entitled to disclosure of evidence, as the extradition hearing and the potential subsequent legal proceedings in the US were closely linked. The US Government is required to prove it has a plausible case against the Megauploader founder and its managers before they can be extradited. They opposed the application but the Judge sided with the defense.

The court decision orders the US Government to disclose all evidence to Dotcom relating to the charges of criminal breach of copyright, money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud within 21 days.

"A denial of the provision of information that could enable a proper adversarial hearing in my view would amount to a denial of the opportunity to contest and that would effectively mean that the process is one sided," Judge Harvey said. "In my view there must be fairness at the hearing and a balance must be struck, otherwise the ROC (record of case) becomes dominant virtually to the exclusion of everything else and places the extradition process in danger of becoming an administrative one rather than judicial."

In a separate hearing on the same day, Dotcom was granted variations to his bail conditions by Judge Harvey, giving him permission to return to his mansion, as well as the removal of his tracking anklet. After having the tracker fitted he had to move to a house nearby, due to it not working in his normal residence.

"I'm really happy about the decision and I'm going to comply with everything the court is asking," Dotcom said in a statement shortly after hearing the decision. "I will be able to move back with my family into our home - the kids and my wife are always asking. I'm looking forward to that."




User Comments: 11

Got something to say? Post a comment
Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Funny how the country founded on the idea of due process withheld evidence and is now being forced by a foreign judge to hand over evidence it should have already, instead of just the evidence "they deemed" was enough haha, what a world we live in today.

Opus Opus said:

<p> what a world we live in today.</p>

Stupid world controlled by the persons who are elected by our own votes. If MegaUpload was infringing on copy right, then tons of other companies were/are as well.

Camikazi said:

<p>
<p> what a world we live in today.</p>
</p>

<p>Stupid world controlled by the persons who are elected by our own votes. If MegaUpload was infringing on copy right, then tons of other companies were/are as well.</p>

I think MPAA and RIAA are just hoping for a victory here so they can go after all the other companies, all they need is one big win so they can bring it up in future cases.

Mindwraith said:

You know, Kim Dotcom was doing a lot of other bad stuff besides just Megaupload... He is a pretty hardcore criminal.

psycros psycros said:

<p>You know, Kim Dotcom was doing a lot of other bad stuff besides just Megaupload... He is a pretty hardcore criminal.</p>

Yep, and none of his insider trading crimes (so far as we know) have anything to do with Megaupload. Is he a sleazebag? Absolutely. However, the US has been applying the law selectively <I>far</I> too often in the last twenty years and I'd rather see a guilty man walk than watch an innocent one get railroaded. Why isn't Eric Holder on trial right now?? He's the "top cop" in America, and he sold guns to Mexican gangsters which were then used to kill US cops!! Oh, but he's a good buddy of the Kenyan-in-Chief, so nothing is done. Meanwhile anyone who says an unkind word about Obama gets put on a terrorist watch list. If you're an American you have plenty of bigger things to worry about than Kim Dotcom, believe me..but don't tell that to the RIAA and MPAA whose only concerns are making huge profits from degenerating your kids into sex-crazed lunatics.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

<p>
<p>You know, Kim Dotcom was doing a lot of other bad stuff besides just Megaupload... He is a pretty hardcore criminal.</p>
</p>

<p><br /></p>

<p>Yep, and none of his insider trading crimes (so far as we know) have anything to do with Megaupload. Is he a sleazebag? Absolutely. However, the US has been applying the law selectively <I>far</I> too often in the last twenty years and I'd rather see a guilty man walk than watch an innocent one get railroaded. Why isn't Eric Holder on trial right now?? He's the "top cop" in America, and he sold guns to Mexican gangsters which were then used to kill US cops!! Oh, but he's a good buddy of the Kenyan-in-Chief, so nothing is done. Meanwhile anyone who says an unkind word about Obama gets put on a terrorist watch list. If you're an American you have plenty of bigger things to worry about than Kim Dotcom, believe me..but don't tell that to the RIAA and MPAA whose only concerns are making huge profits from degenerating your kids into sex-crazed lunatics.</p>

I agree 110%.

Guest said:

I suggest you read the latest on torrentfreak

megaupload has filed for dismissal in virginia court

kg4icg kg4icg said:

That is where the Federal Courthopuse is. In Alexandria, Va.

Guest said:

wooo thats the problem... the US government doesnt have any proof.... case dismiss .

They want dotcom in us ground so they can do what they do best, brake the law keeping him arrested.

Tygerstrike said:

I do so love how idiotic and moronic some of the posts are. Mega got shutdown, so that why the US Govt. is going after Kim. Use your brains ppl. The US Govt. is going after him for far more then just file sharing. He is a sleezebag. He broke MANY countries laws. It seems as if all you ppl can see is the file sharing. Do a bit of research!!! You can look up past articles on TS. Use it!!!

If you cant find any articles ask the author of this one if he will post a link for you. Get the whole story before you jump on that bandwagon.

Guest said:

Tygerstrike wrote: "I do so love how idiotic and moronic some of the posts are. Mega got shutdown, so that why the US Govt. is going after Kim. Use your brains ppl. The US Govt. is going after him for far more then just file sharing."

Speak for yourself. If Kim has broken the law in certain jurisdictions then the USA needs to negotiate with those sovereign jurisdictions and bring the appropriate civil or criminal charges to bear, if there is proof. The US government does not get to send in the SWAT every time their corporate overlords are displeased by some guys attitude or ethics, and then subvert jurisdiction, justice, and people's rights, just to get their own way.

By your reasoning, I'm guessing you'd really like to live in Somalia. A paradise of small government and lack of legal process.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.