Dotcom offers US a deal
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom claims the United States criminal case against him is collapsing but he is offering to go there without extradition provided federal authorities unfreeze his millions of dollars so he can pay for lawyers and living expenses.
In a now hallmark style, he made the offer on Twitter.
"Hey DOJ (Department of Justice), we will go to the US," he tweeted, "No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses."
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Dotcom says the department knows it does not have a case.
"If they are forced to provide discovery, then there will be no extradition. That's why they don't want to provide discovery. If they had a case, they would not need to hide what they have."
Yesterday, his lawyers confirmed the extradition case on charges of criminal copyright violation stemming from the Megaupload file-sharing website had been shifted from next month to next year.
Dotcom and Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk are wanted by the US following a dramatic January raid on his multi-million dollar residency outside of Auckland.
Dotcom tweeted about his disappointment at the delay:
"Extradition hearing delayed til March. Dirty delay tactics by the US. They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest.
"The NZ government is refusing an NZ resident due process and a fair defence. Shame on you John Key for allowing this to happen. Shame on you."
He told Hollywood Reporter that he believes "dirty delay tactics instead of evidence" are being deployed by the US government.
He said he wanted the August 6 hearing to go ahead so he could present his case.
"The actions by the DOJ clearly demonstrate that they don't have a case and that this ... was about killing Megaupload and creating a chilling effect to freeze the whole file-hosting sector. They achieved that," Dotcom said told Hollywood Reporter.
"I don't think they are prepared for the wave that's coming to them now."
The department declined comment.
Dotcom told Hollywood Reporter that because his assets have been seized, he has been left without "funds to pay my lawyers."
US District Court Judge Liam O'Grady who is overseeing the case against Dotcom, ruled after a June 29 hearing that while Dotcom's legal team could argue for a motion to dismiss the allegations against the company, the Megaupload founder's assets would not be unfrozen to pay attorney costs.
"The new rule is guilty until proven innocent," Dotcom said.
"My rights to due process and a fair defence are subverted."
Meanwhile Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has repeated his support for Dotcom. Earlier this year he visited Dotcom in Auckland. According to Slashgear.com Wozniak told a conference in Chile he was dismayed at the techniques used to bring Dotcom to trial.
"Kim Dotcom was so successful, and he was well known for his flagrance, and his sports cars, and his racing cars, and style of life, that he was made an easy target" Wozniak said. "He was the biggest in the world, and they swamped in on him ... I don't want to take a side in this political thing, I don't know if that's where it came from."
- © Fairfax NZ News