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US government asks Supreme Court to ignore Kim Dotcom’s “fugitive” appeal

By | Published on Friday 16 June 2017

Kim Dotcom

America’s Department Of Justice has asked the US Supreme Court to ignore the latest appeal by MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom, who is still trying to get reconnected to the millions that were seized when his sometimes controversial former business was shut down by the feds in 2012.

As much previously reported, the US authorities shutdown MegaUpload on copyright infringement grounds, requesting that Dotcom and a number of his then colleagues in New Zealand, and elsewhere, be arrested, while also seizing most of the company’s assets. Efforts to extradite Dotcom to the US to face various charges in a US courtroom are still ongoing, while there have been an assortment of other legal wranglings in relation to MegaUpload in both America and New Zealand.

Among them have been Dotcom’s efforts to reclaim some or all of the assets and funds seized back in 2012. Last year the US Fourth Circuit Court Of Appeal 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. But Dotcom’s lawyer hit back at that argument, saying that his client wasn’t a ‘fugitive’, but was exercising his legal right to fight extradition to the US.

To that end, Dotcom’s lawyer Ira Rothken announced he’d take the matter to the US Supreme Court. He told Reuters at the time: “This opinion has the effect of eviscerating Kim Dotcom’s treaty rights by saying if you lawfully oppose extradition in New Zealand, the US will still call you a fugitive and take all of your assets. We think it’s American imperialism at its best, and we’re hoping the Supreme Court will see it for what it is, and reverse it”.

Dotcom’s petition was filed with the Supreme Court in April. Earlier this month the US Department Of Justice lodged its response, arguing that it is, in fact, appropriate to define the former MegaUpload chiefs as “fugitives”, and that doing so is in line with both the wishes of Congress when writing the laws that are relevant here, and also past judgements in similar cases in America.

After outlining its arguments in some detail, the US government’s filing then had a very short conclusion. That: “The petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied”. Which basically means it wants the Supreme Court to tell Dotcom and his legal team to go away. We await the Supreme Court’s response.