Kim Dotcom v United States of America

UPDATED: Dotcom's bail appeal denied

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has been denied bail following an appeal in the Auckland High Court today.

The decision was announced by Justice Raynor Asher at around 7.15pm. It follows a day-long hearing in which Dotcom took the stand and told the court he has no desire to flee New Zealand and wants to fight the charges against him "on a level playing field".

“I want to stay here, prove my innocence and get my money back,” he said during cross examination.

Dotcom was in court to appeal an earlier decision by North Shore District Court not to grant him bail pending an extradition hearing that is scheduled to take place on February 22. On the court list the case appeared as "Kim Dotcom v The United States of America.

Dotcom’s lawyer Paul Davison QC said the appeal challenged the district court judge’s decision to deny Dotcom bail based on his flight risk, noting that the judge in that hearing had not accepted there was a risk of re-offending while on bail.

Anne Toohey, a New Zealand Crown lawyer who was appearing on behalf of the United States, confirmed that she would not be cross-appealing on the latter issue.

“The United States of America is seeking to uphold the decision of the lower court, not challenge the basis of the decision,” Toohey said.

Dotcom was cross examined on the question of his alleged flight to Thailand in 2002 and his alleged deportation from that country to Germany, where he later faced insider trading charges.

Dotcom said he had travelled to Thailand for a holiday and at that time was unaware of any charges against him. When he heard about these allegations he immediately contacted Germany’s largest television station who subsequently interviewed him at his hotel in Thailand.

Soon afterward, Dotcom said two German embassy staff visited him and demanded that he hand over his passport. “Moments” after the embassy officials left, Dotcom said Thai police arrived and arrested him for not having legal travel documents.

After five days in a Thai immigration prison, Dotcom said German authorities offered him a one day travel document if he returned with them to Germany, to which he agreed.

However Toohey said that while earlier enquiries by New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office had not found any record of deportation in Thailand, more recent enquiries had received an official confirmation that Dotcom had been deported from Thailand.

The court also heard more details about the police raid on the Dotcom mansion on January 20.

Dotcom said the first he heard was a loud banging on his bedroom door and so, following the security protocol he had previously arranged with his bodyguard, he pushed a panic button and then fled via a secret door to a panic room, known in the household as the Red Room.

In what appears to be a direct contradiction to police evidence, Dotcom says the door to his bedroom (where a secret doorway led to the Red Room) had automatically locked when he entered it the previous night, and he had not shut it when police arrived.

Dotcom said he waited there until police found him sitting on the floor behind a pillar. He said his hands were outstretched, which again appears to be contrary to police evidence. Dotcom said police were “quite aggressive,” and he alleged that he had been hit in the face and that an officer had stood on his hand, causing it to bleed.

During the proceedings Dotcom said that Megaupload had hosted 12 billion unique files. He argued that even if there were 10 copies on its servers of every movie ever made this would not account for even 12 million of the files hosted, which showed that the vast majority of Megaupload files were legitimate.

He also said that as a result of the action by the US government, 100 million Megaupload users no longer had access to their files.

“It’s the biggest disregard of basic rights in internet history,” Dotcom said.

But prosecutor Toohey said documents had been filed which supported the US claim that Megaupload had caused US$500 million of harm to copyright holders. She said the estimate had been arrived at by the number of music singles downloaded, valued at US 99 cents each, that were downloaded by Megaupload users over a period of two weeks.

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Kiwi Dotcome Supporter


Kim Dotcom with his pending music service was planning on dismantling the fundamentals of the global music industry and taking on iTunes. If he can succeed just watch the tax paying USA music industry decline and their there goes the US Government tax take, more unemployment. There are probably more breaches of piracy on youtube ...ah but they are a tax paying corporation to the Government, and probably backing a few USA politicians. This has got to be the biggest beat up on a highly successful independent company who has been dismantled without being found guilty of any crime. Expect more big brother bullying. Megaupload will not be the first that is crippled for not following the party line. Look beyond the sensational headlines there is more to this than meets the eye.



The thing that wound up hollywood was the proposed deal he had designed for artists, so they could sell their music online and keep 90% of the profit, this was also disclosed on TVNZ 7 the other night.(It's on the web but it's ok to watch it)
Thats the reason they chased him, he posed a threat to their income.



Yeah , of course we think it's wrong,
I dont agree with copying movies and music, but that doesn't mean having a fairly unclear international law that plenty of people and companies flaunt should be instantaneously bought down on the billions of file holders worldwide. Hollywood will try to sue the world. There will be a new industry and eventually it will affect our credit etc. The media coverage and the police action were written for TV ! Pretty serious if you ask me. What country do we live in again?



Does anyone else think that it's wrong that the US can come here, get NZ police to arrest someone and shut down his business...before he has been found guilty?

Sure, he looks guilty. And those pictures of him in his jet don't help. But they shut his business down. What if a jury finds him not guilty? Will they make good the loss of his business? What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

And was it really necessary to have helicopters, armed police and all that other American rubbish? I am sure someone could have walked up, jeans and a t shirt, and arrested him.



If the American jury thinks Mr Dotcom's likely sentence is excessive, it can acquit him regardless of the "law" and the facts, and the acquittal is binding. It's called "jury nullification". But the jurors won't be told this in court. They'll need to hear about it from elsewhere. Spread the word!



So does it mean that money is going to the artists now, since the servers have been shut down ? They wish!

"She said the estimate had been arrived at by the number of music singles downloaded, valued at US 99 cents each, that were downloaded by Megaupload users over a period of two weeks. "



act of alleging



NZ Bill of Rights: Habeus Corpus. Everyone who is arrested or detained has the right to the validity of the arrest or detention determined without delay by bringing a writ of habeus corpus to the court, and to be released if the arrest/detention is not lawful. If the police breach the bill of rights, evidence can be excluded ond ordered to pay money. (opinion)

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