Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his pals Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato, and Bram van der Kolk, will have to wait a little while longer to have their day in court after their New Zealand extradition hearing was delayed to March 2013. The court hearing had been originally scheduled to take place on August 6, but thanks to a number of legal complications, not the least of which include the US’ handling of the entire situation, the date was pushed back longer than Dotcom would’ve liked.
After hearing of the decision to postpone the extradition hearing, Dotcom took to Twitter to once again lambast the US, accusing them of “dirty delay tactics”.
Dotcom, who is out on bail, has been accused by the US government for conspiring to commit large-scale copyright infringement from his Megaupload business. In addition, the Megaupload creator has also been accused of conspiracy to commit racketeering and money laundering. Earlier this year, the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation even went and perform an armed raid on Dotcom’s estate in Auckland, New Zealand, seizing over $500 million in assets.
But the raid has become a subject of contention in the country with a High Court judge even getting into the picture by invalidating the FBI’s warrants and declaring the raid illegal, saying that the warrants used were “too broad and general”.
Dotcom has denied any wrongdoing and saying that the site was a legitimate site for sharing files – a cloud storage website, as Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken describes it.
Despite the delay, Rothken also assured everyone that Dotcom is ready to face the allegations, determined to clear his name and put the light the US government’s lack of competency in how they’ve handled the case.
“Dotcom is looking forward to his day in court, to present his side of the story,” Rothken says.
UK public on the side of Richard O’Dwyer; calls on Theresa May to help out
Meanwhile, another US target, 24-year old Richard O’Dwyer, is getting some strong support from the British public after a survey done by YouGov showed an overwhelming majority opposing the US’ extradition case against the student from Sheffield.
O’Dwyer is facing up to 10 years in prison in America on charges of copyright infringement, despite the fact that his own country hasn’t pursed any legal action against him. The results of the survey showed that only 9% of the British public believe that O’Dwyer should answer face trial in the US. On the flip side, 46% have voiced their opposition in having him prosecuted in the first place while another 26% believe that he should be tried in the UK.
A sizable contingent of individuals, led by no less than Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, have voiced their opposition of the extradition, even calling into action Theresa May, the home secretary who has statuary power to stop the extradition, to take action and hear the side of O’Dwyer and his family.
“The home secretary continues to ignore hundreds of thousands of citizens, the UK tech community, business leaders, celebrities and MPs from all parties on this issue,” Wales said to the Guardian.
“She should be very clear that we are not going to go away and new supporters are joining the campaign all the time. I urge her to meet with myself and Richard’s mother, Julia, as soon as possible.”
Julia Dywer, Richard’s mother, also appealed to May to have the “good grace to respond to this campaign”.
“I had hoped that as an elected representative in a country that holds values of freedom so dear, she would have made some sort of response. I could lose my son for 10 years to a US prison for something that isn’t even a crime in the UK.”