Kim Dotcom Wins Damages From Human Rights Tribunal

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Megaupload founder wins human rights court battle and promptly declares extradition case to US is over

Kim Dotcom, the charismatic founder of Megaupload, has declared that his extradition fight against a court order to be deported to the United States is “over”.

Dotcom made the ambitious prediction after he won a legal battle, where the Human Rights Tribunal in New Zealand ruled that the Attorney-General had broken the law by withholding information from Kim Dotcom.

German-born Dotcom, who has residency status in New Zealand, has been fighting a series of legal battles after he and three other men who co-founded Megaupload lost their legal battle in late 2015 against extradition to the United States, where Dotcom is wanted for copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering.

Legal Battles

The US allege the Megaupload website cost Hollywood film studios and record companies more than $500m (£322m), and generated $175m (£113m) by allowing users to store and share copyright material.

Megaupload was closed down in early 2012, and Dotcom was arrested by New Zealand police on orders from the US. His mansion in New Zealand was also raided.

But in Autumn 2016 Dotcom launched an appeal against that extradition ruling, and has also has filed claims for damages of roughly $10bn in December against US and New Zealand authorities “for the destruction of Megaupload” and the constraints on his liberty for more than seven years.

In July 2015, Dotcom also sent an ‘urgent information privacy request’ to all 28 Ministers of the Crown in New Zealand, as well as almost all Government departments, asking for personal information they had on him, including under his previous names.

The majority of these requests were transferred to the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, who declined them, on the grounds that they were “vexatious” and trivial.

The Solicitor-General also said Dotcom had not provided sufficient reasons for urgency.

Court Ruling

But the Human Rights Tribunal on Monday disagreed, and ruled that the Attorney-General unlawfully withheld information from Dotcom, and therefore had perverted the course of justice.

The New Zealand Government has been ordered to comply with the original requests and supply all relevant documents to Dotcom.

Damages for loss of benefit of NZ$30,000 (£15,373) and loss of dignity and injury to feelings of NZ$60,000 (£30,747) have also been rewarded to Dotcom.

Dotcom soon took to Twitter to declare victory in his extradition case, although it may be a little premature for him to declare full victory just yet.

“What does the Human Rights Tribunal Judgement mean for my Extradition case?,” he tweeted.

“It is OVER! By unlawfully withholding information that could have helped my case the former Attorney General of New Zealand has perverted the course of Justice,” he added.

Last week Dotcom filed an application for former US President Barack Obama to appear in court while Obama visited New Zealand last week.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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