Business News Digital Legal MegaUpload Timeline Top Stories

Closing arguments presented in MegaUpload extradition case, as Kim Dotcom’s lawyers seek rehearing in US on seized assets

By | Published on Wednesday 28 September 2016


Lawyers for the men who led the always controversial file-transfer platform MegaUpload have presented closing arguments as part of their appeal against the previous court ruling that said the former execs should be extradited to the US to face charges of criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.

As much previously reported, the US has been trying to extradite the former MegaUpload chiefs, including founder Kim Dotcom, ever since it shut down the file-transfer business in 2012 on the grounds that the website profited from rampant copyright infringement. After many delays, the extradition hearing got under way last year, with a judge ultimately finding in the US government’s favour. But Dotcom et al appealed.

Most of the arguments presented by both sides during the appeal hearing were pretty familiar. On Dotcom’s side, legal reps continue to argue that there is not enough evidence to show that their client conspired to commit a crime, and therefore there is not a strong enough case to allow extradition under the rules of the US/New Zealand extradition treaty.

Although the main arguments from both sides have now been presented, according to Channel NewsAsia, there are still some technicalities to be addressed, meaning a ruling is likely to be a few weeks away yet. Meanwhile, it is expected that a further appeal will occur, whichever sides wins this stage.

As also previously reported, the appeal hearing was live streamed on YouTube at the request of the Dotcom side, though it seems that the mainly dull proceedings were something of a turn-off for many of the people who did tune in; appeal hearings generally being less entertaining. According to YouTube, the final afternoon’s session had about 100 viewers.

Elsewhere in MegaUpload news, another appeal of sorts. Legal reps for Dotcom have petitioned the Fourth Circuit Court Of Appeals in the US in a bid to try to secure a rehearing in relation to their client’s bid to regain assets seized by the US government during the aforementioned MegaUpload shutdown in 2012.

As previously reported, last month the Fourth Circuit backed a lower court ruling saying that Dotcom should not be reconnected to those assets, mainly because they consider the former MegaUpload chief a fugitive. The lawyers argue that there should be a rehearing on the basis that the three judge Fourth Circuit ruling was not unanimous, the ruling arguably conflicts with past precedents, and because of the wider significance of the case.

It remains to be seen if a rehearing is indeed granted, though other appeal routes are still open to Dotcom, who has previously pledged to take the case all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary.