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US prosecutors hit back in MegaUpload case

By | Published on Friday 15 June 2012


Legal reps for the US government have hit back at recent claims made by lawyers working for MegaUpload and its founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz to the effect that, because the Mega business was incorporated in Hong Kong, criminal proceedings cannot be pursued against it in the USA.

As previously reported, MegaUpload’s defence team is fighting off both efforts by the US to extradite Dotcom and three other former Mega execs from New Zealand to America, and the actual criminal case in the US itself. Earlier this month Dotcom’s lawyers filed papers in the US saying that the courts there had no jurisdiction over a Hong Kong company, and therefore the criminal case should be dismissed. Back in New Zealand they are arguing that the charges made against Dotcom et al personally are not sufficiently serious for the extradition treaty between the country and the US to come into effect.

But in its latest court submission, the US Attorney’s Office says that the MegaUpload team’s most recent claims have no substance, so much so that it reckons their call for the case to be dismissed is a waste of time and resources.

The prosecution’s latest filing also accuses some of MegaUpload’s legal reps of having a conflict of interest, because they have in the past worked for some of the film studios whose content was illegally shared over the digital firm’s networks, while also arguing that allowing the defendants to access some of MegaUpload’s seized funds to help pay for legal costs would be like “returning money to a bank robber”.

Back in New Zealand, a previous court demand that prosecutors hand over all their evidence to the defence has been put on hold pending another hearing. As previously reported, prosecutors had argued that there is so much evidence that there was no way they could gather all that data together by the deadline set by the court.