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Crime Piracy The Courts United States

Kim Dotcom Faces Jail At Bail Hearing 166

An anonymous reader writes A bail hearing will resume on Monday at which New Zealand authorities will claim one-time internet tycoon Kim Dotcom is a flight risk and should be sent to jail to await his extradition hearing. The Crown quizzed Dotcom on his finances, contacts and even his online gaming habits this week. Authorities argued he had breached bail conditions by trying to sell a Rolls Royce and having contact with former Megaupload colleagues. Dotcom is wanted in the US on criminal copyright violation and racketeering charges.
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Kim Dotcom Faces Jail At Bail Hearing

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  • authorities? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 30, 2014 @01:20AM (#48489371)

    the same authorities who are on hook for damages if doesn't get sent to USA? and probably on misconduct shit even if he does get sent.

    where would he take a flight to anyways? bahamas?

    and wtf - why should he be isolated from former megaupload workers, seems like a proper defense wouldn't be possible without coordinating with them somewhat.

    • obviously, they are unindicted co-conspirators.

    • by bytesex ( 112972 )

      It's much worse. If the NZ authorities fail to turn over Kim DC, the filming of the next Tolkien epic won't be allowed there.

      • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

        NZ, please flip the United States the Bird!

        • by flyneye ( 84093 )

          Laydeeeeeeez and Gentlemen, please direct your attention to the center ring, where you will see an amazing feat of avian dexterity and balance; All the way from New Zealand; The Flipping Kiwis!

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          To late the woolly jumbuck of New Zealand politics has already rudely had it's hind legs dropped into the front of the US government's gumboots and is now if for the ride of it's life, even as New Zealanders crow about the advantages of the Russia trade sanctions against Australia as a result of the current Australia government being a blatant puppet of the US government. Ahh yes, the US government the friend you have when you want to be democratised to death.

      • After the Hobbit movies, I'm hoping there won't be another Tolkien epic. Not that there's much more good Tolkien to draw from, anyway. The Silmarillion was about as entertaining as a book on Greek mythology.
    • I think those kind of restrictions are common in conspiracy cases. This all sounds like standard procedure except for the "popular among nerds" and "rich guy" angles.

  • by Mistakill ( 965922 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @01:22AM (#48489375)
    As a kiwi, I'm not a fan but this is ridiculous... hes been charged with no New Zealand crime... the search warrant was ruled by a New Zealand judge to be illegal and excessive. He's not exactly an average looking person... he would stand out
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You've never been to Alabama, apparently.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't mess with Murica'. We like our free money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 30, 2014 @01:22AM (#48489379)

    He can't sell a car? He can't talk to people to help him get money? His bail terms must be to sit and do nothing until they get him in jail permanently. He's screwed, and it shows the law means nothing if they have a grudge against you.

    • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @02:00AM (#48489475)

      The car was part of the assets under seizure, so no he can't sell it. compared to what most people go through in such a criminal trial where the assets may be considered illicit gains he has actually been treated unbelievably well. He was able to keep his money to spend on his legal bills as well as a political campaign, gambling and even a ridiculous music venture and a monthly rent bill that was $80,000. seriously that is nearly a million a year he was spending on rent.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 30, 2014 @05:04AM (#48489929)

        The car was part of the assets under seizure,

        Seizure again without due process on the theory that he is a "fugitive from justice in the United States". Being a fugitive is somewhat of a stretch considering that he is a German citizen and has never been in the United States to start with. So they are are seizing and freezing all his assets because he is a "fugitive" from the U.S., and the U.S. justice system is wired in a way that you only get to see justice (or the closest approximation to it you will see there) if you can fork over lots of cash for your defense.

        Don't take me wrong: I consider Kim DotCom a douchebag, but compared to the douchebagginess of the U.S. prosecution and its New Zealand lapdogs as shown here he is a cute little puppy.

        • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @06:00AM (#48490081)

          I agree, it's amazingly hard to pick sides in this battle. Is there any way that we could make both of them lose?

          • Well yes, both teams of lawyers will work to ensure that justice is done. Justice to their various bank accounts, that is.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Sunday November 30, 2014 @09:11AM (#48490523) Homepage Journal

            No matter how much of a douche he is, being a douche isn't a criminal offence or worthy of being locked up and deprived of your assets because America says so.

            Defending freedom often means defending scoundrels, but it's a price worth paying.

            • There is the rare moment when the legal system has been bullshitted by an individual long and often enough that I can only say that turnabout is fair game. Just like when Al Capone was jailed for tax evasion (let's be honest, that was the crime he was convicted of but not the reason why he was convicted). Some individuals are very adept at evading the legal system, and while the legal system gets abused far too often, sometimes it gets really hard to consider it wrong. Was it wrong to jail Capone, albeit on

              • Why do you think Capone was imprisoned on a constructed reason? He did not declare all of his income on his tax returns, and the authorities were able to prove this, and demonstrate that he did that with intent to defraud. Since he was a well-known crime kingpin, if his tax returns indicated low income he was a natural target for auditing and investigation.

                The lesson here is that, if you're going to commit profitable crime, declare enough of it on you income taxes that they won't be able to prove you d

            • Maybe I'm not clear on his alleged crimes. He is accused of commercial copyright infringement right? If so then being a douche is irrelevant; he's simply an accused criminal living in a country with an extradition treaty to the country who wants to prosecute him. He is deprived of his assets not because America says so but because New Zealand says so in the form of their treaty with America.

        • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

          douchebag or not, he is still entitled to due process. Is he really that much more of a scumbag than the guards at Auschwitz that he doesn't deserve a fair trial that they got? What, actually, is he accused of that's so heinous, so wrong, that the Great United States Justice Machine wants him locked up in one of their holes forever throw away the key fuck your trial fuck due process? Dotcom is due an apology, not a fucking court date.

        • Yup a "fugitive" as in fighting extradition. Those pesky assets might let him mount a functional defense.

          I'm sorry but seizing somebody assets so he can no longer mount a defense is entirely contrary to fair or just.

          Because another country will not extradite does not make him a fugitive. Nations have these sovereign rights for a reason so that we do not have some world law, so that they may pick what is right and wrong and to what extent internally.

        • Citizenship is irrelevant to the question of whether he broke US laws. Like every other country, US laws apply to actions and jurisdiction, not to citizenship. The important question is whether he acted in a way that broke US criminal copyright laws. The FBI has convinced the NZ government that they have a substantial case so they executed arrest and search warrants against him and he has strangely been able to drag out extradition procedures against him for more than two years.

          • by Filter ( 6719 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @01:18PM (#48491667)

            You have almost certainly broken sharia law of many nations, how would you feel about defending your self there. Should you be extradited? Should your assets be frozen so that you have no chance of financing a reasonable defence?

            • I was discussing the way laws actually work. What are YOU talking about?

              • by Anonymous Coward

                I was discussing the way laws actually work. What are YOU talking about?

                Why are you being so hostile? Fitter's point stands. Merely existing as a non-Muslim in accordance with the harshest varieties of Sharia law, which takes the stance that all of God's creation is their jurisdiction, you could be charged with crimes punishable by beheading (among worse things) merely on the suspicion of guilt.

                Would you find your assets being seized and extradited to defend yourself against such criminal accusations an acceptable outcome? You broke their law in their jurisdiction, therefore th

                • You forgot one key point - there's no extradition if the crime isn't a crime in the host country. Until the US enacts sharia law (and has an extradition treaty with those countries) it just ain't gonna happen. So I will continue to violate sharia law with impunity.
        • The idea of seizure or more precisely freezing his assets in this case is to prevent him disposing of them BEFORE due process has taken place, otherwise there is noting stopping him selling everything and funneling into offshore account or flushing it on blow and hookers.

      • The car was part of the assets under seizure, so no he can't sell it. compared to what most people go through in such a criminal trial where the assets may be considered illicit gains he has actually been treated unbelievably well. He was able to keep his money to spend on his legal bills as well as a political campaign, gambling and even a ridiculous music venture and a monthly rent bill that was $80,000. seriously that is nearly a million a year he was spending on rent.

        I thought Kim Dotcom was broke and not even able to pay his lawyers? http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30209067 [bbc.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A former Brazilian Politician (of the 50s IIRC), once said:

      "For friends, everything; for enemies, the Law."

      The Law is a good instrument to promote all kinds of injustice. Can't really say anything else, because the present case proves there's no Freedom of Expression. Not in the US and neither overseas. I hope I can still say that...

    • by TropicalCoder ( 898500 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @11:40AM (#48491161) Homepage Journal

      The story at Ars has a video of an candid interview Kim Dotcom did with the press a couple of days ago... http://arstechnica.com/tech-po... [arstechnica.com]

      I listened to the whole thing, and found it very interesting. Kim Dotcom gave fairly straight forward responses, and came off for me as an intelligent, not so bad guy. For sure it would be easy for us to envy his wealth, but IMHO he came about it by exploiting loopholes in the law, not by breaking the law.

      Instead of pursuing Kim Dotcom to the ends of the earth (Sorry, NZers), why doesn't the US DOJ expend their effort prosecuting the crooks on Wall Street whole defrauded the whole world of a trillion dollars selling those bogus Credit Default Swaps that led up to the crash of 2008? Not one has been prosecuted, nor will they ever be.

      • Kim Dotcom's wealth is as legitimate as Bill Gates' wealth. Both ignored and manipulated that law for profit.
      • why doesn't the US DOJ expend their effort prosecuting the crooks on Wall Street whole defrauded the whole world of a trillion dollars selling those bogus Credit Default Swaps that led up to the crash of 2008?

        Because immoral and illegal are two different things. CDS were not illegal in 2008, and are still not illegal now. That banks suddenly stopped trusting each other in 2008 was not Wall Street's fault, it was a failure of government and ultimately a failure of the people who elected them on the mantra of deregulation.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      "The law" generally means nothing. It is just a fiction propped up by propaganda to somehow have a connection to right and wrong, but it does not. IT also has zero effect of preventing or reducing crime, that is the other Big Lie. People do respect others because they want to, not because some law tells them to. If you do not believe that, just think about the countless possibility to do utter evil, yet not break the law at all or be shielded from the consequences.

      • Wrong. the 'law' is what prevents individuals and groups from attempting to gain control of 'monopoly on violence'. Without the law you would be some warlord's bitch or dead. Be grateful for 'law'
      • Anarchy is not the answer to injustice.
  • Keep in mind (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 30, 2014 @01:38AM (#48489419)

    The evidence for extradition is tainted because it was obtained by illegal surveillance by the NZ spy agency against a New Zealand resident, they also promptly handed the evidence over the US without court approval, so its all very dodgy legally at this point. Even before we consider if conspiracy to commit a copyright infringement is an actual legal thing, let alone an extraditable legal thing.

    So they're trying for a shit throwing exercise to see if they can throw enough shit and see if any of it can stick.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It will stick. Might makes right, and money is might. Kim Dotcom should rename himself Kim Deadman.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't worry. We're about to fix the law to get rid of pesky "illegal surveillance" problems with the new bill currently before parliament. 48 hours of surveillance without a warrant. I wonder how many times the 48 hour period will begin just in the nick of time to catch something that would have previously been illegal surveilance? There will no longer be a disincentive to carry out illegal surveillance because everything will be admissible within the right 48 hour window.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 30, 2014 @01:43AM (#48489433)

    You (insert your name here) are hereby accused of (unstated) crime. It doesn't matter what, but it was serious enough to threaten (insert multinational corporation here) profits.

    Your plea is irrelevant. Your evidence is irrelevant. Your refutation of our evidence is irrelevant. Precedent is irrelevant.

    Go directly to jail. Forfeit all assets. And get your mind right.

    • You may notice he's not in jail. You may also notice all the evidence, including emails he wrote, is pretty much 100% showing he's guilty. Heck, he even had a personalized license plate made - GUILTY. He's bragging about it. The one and only difference between him and any other criminal caught on tape is that he "gave" you free shit (that wasn't his to give).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What e-mails? Those who were illegally confiscated by the U.S.? The same e-mails he claims were torn totally out of context? The same e-mails they're now denying him access to, because of... reasons?

        Being a scumbag and driving around in expensive cars with profane license plates doesn't make one a criminal. Up until now, the U.S. government and their kiwi henchmen look a whole lot more criminal than the guy they're trying to convict. More than two and a half years have passed since they shut this whole Mega

        • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

          this is just the bail prior the extradition hearing, they're not near to the copyright trial yet.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @07:54AM (#48490301) Journal

          Yes, the confiscated emails where he explicitly says they need to get more Hollywood movofies in order to make more money. That THE textbook example of criminal copyright infringement. Whether the seizure was the legal the courts will decide. We've seen the the emails, so we know that he intentionally committed another crime. Apparently you feel that you've benefited from this type of crime, so just be honest and say that. To pretend he didn't do the things he brags about doing is silly.

          > More than two and a half years have passed since they shut this whole Megaupload down and did this big Hollywoodesque showoff at his mansion. Where is the due process in this?

          I'm not quite following your complaint here. You are bothered that his team of lawyers has been given every opportunity to delay the hearing, over and over? You feel that due process requires that his motions for continuance and various prehearing motions be denied?

          • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @09:57AM (#48490701)

            Whether the seizure was the legal the courts will decide.

            NZ courts have already decided that the seizure was illegal.

            Oh wait, you mean the US of A courts, the ones who claim to have legal authority over a German living in New Zealand whose company was registered in Hong Kong?

            • by Tom ( 822 )

              [...] over a German living in New Zealand whose company was registered in Hong Kong?

              Who is not living in both Germany and Hong Kong anymore because of previous conflicts with the law, including being convicted of crimes?

              Why is it so difficult for most /. readers to understand that there can be two assholes in a fight, and rooting for one of them just because you personally dislike the other isn't the answer?

      • by X.25 ( 255792 )

        You may notice he's not in jail. You may also notice all the evidence, including emails he wrote, is pretty much 100% showing he's guilty. Heck, he even had a personalized license plate made - GUILTY. He's bragging about it. The one and only difference between him and any other criminal caught on tape is that he "gave" you free shit (that wasn't his to give).

        Do you realize that not a single thing that you wrote has any connection to reality?

        Of course you do. That's why you write it.

        • Are you under the impression that he IS in jail?
          That his custom license plate isn't GUILTY?
          Certainly that history of dozens of charges and multiple convictions in three different countries never happened?

          Seriously, I bet I know what you take issue with - you like getting free stuff. That's cool. You could have the intellectual honesty to admit that to yourself. He did it, he admits he's guilty, and your glad he did it because you got a ripped copy of The Fast and Furious 6 out of it. That's called being

    • Whereas, on Earth, pleas, evidence, and precedent are relevant.

      There is strong reason to believe Dotcom committed acts in the US that are crimes both in the US and in New Zealand. So far, he is limited in what he can do with his property (this is not forfeiture), and there's a proposal to imprison him until this hearing is over. Dotcom has an opportunity to argue that the imprisonment is unnecessary, and last I heard he was in fact not jailed.

      The New Zealand authorities committed some acts in regard

  • No Cash Left (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 30, 2014 @01:51AM (#48489455)

    I do not htink it is a coincidence that he is low on cash and now seems to be at risk of going to jail.

    No money=Guilty.

    Lots of money=Not Guilty, or at least it was till this point at question whether he was or not.

    • Functionally no money=guilty but not in principle.

      The problem is that the system is so stacked against a person, that without money you will have an extremely difficult time defending yourself. In modern times, the justice system has been changed to the "just us" system. This is likely even more true in other countries that do not have the supposed safeguards like the USA claims to have.

      But this is not a hearing to determine if he is guilty or innocent, just if he broke the terms of his bail. You could atta

      • by mr_exit ( 216086 )

        The guy has got buckets of money. He just managed to spend $4.5M on a splashy political campaign in NZ. In a country of 4 million people that's a very expensive campaign.

        He's been spending mountains of money on lawyers to delay and delay his extradition hearings. Anyone without his resources would have been deported by now, not living in a mansion on bail.

      • In modern times, the justice system has been changed to the "just us" system. This is likely even more true in other countries that do not have the supposed safeguards like the USA claims to have.

        You were trying for +5 funny there, right?

  • I thought that the recent revelation that his original NZ residency application failed to disclose a dangerous driving conviction left it open for him to be deported?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11350895

    So the whole "illegal" raid, dodgy handling of his arrest and application for his extradition could be a moot point now.
    He's seriously pissed off the NZ power's that be after the Internet-Mana, mud slinging, campaign in the recent election.
    That and putting John Key's mate

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @03:52AM (#48489741)
    Passport should be enough - not many ways out of New Zealand.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      But he's a pirate, wouldn't he just steal a boat and sail off into the sunset?

  • 'Criminal copyright violation'

    They will use nuclear weapons to enforce copyright.. The thought is just so cool...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    if the corrupt, criminal U.S gov has its slimy tentacles deep in the NZ gov or not.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      It has. Depend on it. There will be enough immoral scum in the NZ government that they can buy and coerce quite a few people. Politicians are routinely the worst the human race has to offer, with very few exception that may qualify as people of average decency. The real question is whether they will use it for this purpose.

  • Mega must be more successful than we think. The masters are not pleased.
  • What's he going to do, swim to Tasmania?

  • I didn't know Kim Dotcom could fly. Float, maybe.

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