Megaupload’s founder scored a victory recently when the raid against his mansion was determined to be illegal, but suspected Internet piracy kingpin Kim Dotcom still faces an uphill battle. While the case against him has weakened, Dotcom is stilling fighting an extradition motion that could see him moved from New Zealand to the United States to face trial. If the extradition relies on the content obtained from the illegal raids on Dotcom’s mansion, however, prosecutors may run into more problems than once thought.
The U.S.-based lawyer for Megaupload said the rulings were a “tremendous blow” against the online piracy charges asserted against Dotcom and three others, Reuters reported. “The government was engaged not only in wrongful conduct but in double wrongful conduct: they weren’t allowed to go ahead and do the initial seizure … (and) they violated the law again by bringing them (hard drives) offshore when they weren’t allowed to,” Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken, said on a New Zealand radio station.
Rothken hopes a U.S Federal Court will dismiss Megaupload’s case on the grounds that it operated out of Hong Kong, and release the company’s assets. Under New Zealand law, in order to face extradition the alleged offences must be an offence in both countries, punishable by a jail sentence. The extradition hearing for Dotcom and his three co-accused is set for August.