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News November 25, 2015

Kim Dotcom hearing ends

Kim Dotcom hearing ends

After almost 10 weeks, the saga that is Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearinghas ended.

The Megaupload creator and founder has been contending submissions that the serial entrepreneur be shipped from his New Zealand home to the US in order to face criminal charges for copyright infringement.

His fate now lies in the hands of Judge Nevin Dawson who will determine the reality of the extradition. The possibility of jail time is not only real, but long. If convicted Kim Dotcom (real name Kim Schmitz) could be facing 10 years behind bars along with his other Megaupload cohorts. Schmitz has previously faced jail time for fraud, espionage and received a suspended sentence in 2004 for insider trading.

In 2012 Schmitz’s New Zealand mansion was raided by authorities with the charges falling short at the time, however the radar has been constant for Schmitz with these new charges including conspiracy, money laundering and racketeering.

Both the prosecution and the defence have established strong arguments for and against Schmitz, however, Schmitz’s seems to be addressing issues that go beyond the procedural fairness of his trial.

With the prosecutions arguments contending that Megaupload, from its inception, was a corrupt and illegal establishment only intended to break the law, Schmitz is relying on the US Government’s continued gripe and unconstitutional malcontent towards his questionable empire.

Specifically, the prosecutions arguments state that Dotcom and fellow defendants Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk were well aware that their users were breaching copyright laws and went as far as to financially reward users who infringed exceedingly. It was alleged that Megaupload would merely remove the link to the copyrighted material rather then removing the actual content. In communications that were tended to the court, it was proposed that Megaupload was actually profiting from 90% of their infringing files. However Schmitz stated via Twitter today that “Not only did Megaupload achieve 99.999% takedown compliance, numerous emails from major content owners thanked us for our compliance.”

Today Crown lawyer and prosecutor of Schmitz, Christine Gordon, painted a different picture when she told the court that “Dozens of conversations between the four men were cited by the Crown in a bid to convince the court they were conscious of the illegality of their actions.”

Gordon went on to reference a quote by Schmitz where he stated: “If copyright holders would really know how big our business is they’d surely try to do something against it. They have no idea we are making millions in profit every month.”

Schmitz’s defence lawyer Ron Mansfield accused the Crown of “cherry picking” evidence, much of which was out of context and breached the duty of candour.

Despite both sides’ arguments, the reality of Schmitz’s current fate lies in the current charges’ effectiveness in extradition cases. The legality of Megaupload’s actions may still prove fickle in the ability for New Zealand to send him overseas.

In a final statement on the matters Schmitz stated: “My defense team has shown how utterly unreliable, malicious and unethical the US case against me is. They have exposed a dirty ugly bully.”


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