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Kim Dotcom says extradition attempt “over” after Human Rights Tribunal ruling

By | Published on Monday 26 March 2018

Kim Dotcom

MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom reckons efforts to extradite him to face charges of copyright crimes in the US are all but “over” following a ruling in his favour before New Zealand’s Human Rights Tribunal.

Dotcom’s file-transfer platform MegaUpload was shut down by the US authorities back in 2012, of course, amid accusations from the music and movie industries that the digital firm actively facilitated and encouraged copyright infringement. Dotcom and a number of his then colleagues were based in New Zealand, so efforts began almost immediately to try and extradite the MegaUpload men to America to face various charges in the US courts.

That extradition process is somehow still going through the motions. The New Zealand courts have twice ruled that Dotcom et al can be extradited under the country’s extradition treaty with the US, but there are still routes of appeal open to the MegaUpload defendants.

Alongside the extradition case, there have been all sorts of other legal wranglings in New Zealand and elsewhere in relation to the old MegaUpload business. That includes a case being pursued by Dotcom in New Zealand against the country’s government over its refusal to share information that ministers had about MegaUpload and its founder.

Dotcom sent an “urgent privacy request” to a plethora of ministers and government departments in New Zealand back in 2015 asking for all and any personal information they had about him.

Most of those requests were forwarded to the country’s then Attorney-General Chris Finlayson. He knocked back Dotcom’s requests on the grounds that they were “vexatious” and that the MegaUpload man hadn’t sufficiently explained the supposed urgency with which he wanted the information.

Dotcom then took Finlayson’s decision to NZ’s Human Rights Tribunal, which this morning ruled that the Attorney-General broke the law by withholding information. As a result of the ruling, the Tribunal has ordered the country’s government to now share the requested documents.

The information requested back in 2015 was directly relevant to his extradition case. Says Dotcom, which is why he has dramatically declared that the Human Rights Tribunal ruling means that that extradition case is now “over”.

He tweeted earlier: “What does the Human Rights Tribunal Judgement mean for my extradition case? It is OVER! By unlawfully withholding information that could have helped my case, the former Attorney General of New Zealand has perverted the course of justice”.

In a second tweet addressed at New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, he then wrote: “What are you going to do about this? Will you allow the injustice against my family to continue? Or will you do the right thing?”

I’ve no idea whether today’s ruling does have any tangible impact on the US’s case for extraditing Dotcom or the strength of his argument against that case. Although it does increasingly feel like the sun will probably have expanded and engulfed the entire planet before this case reaches any sort of conclusion.