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US Supreme Court declines MegaUpload assets case

By | Published on Tuesday 3 October 2017

MegaUpload

All avenues to reclaim seized MegaUpload assets by Kim Dotcom and the long defunct file transfer site’s other founders have now been exhausted in the US, after the country’s Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. However, Dotcom’s legal rep Ira Rothken says that they will now focus their efforts on courts in New Zealand and Hong Kong, where most of the assets are actually held.

As much previously reported, MegaUpload was taken down in a raid co-ordinated by US and New Zealand authorities in 2012. An estimated $67 million of assets were seized, much of which remain in the hands of the authorities while Dotcom and his associates fight extradition to the States. Various efforts have been made to have the assets released in the American courts, largely based on claims that the MegaUpload team have falsely been labelled “fugitives” by US authorities.

Dotcom’s lawyers argue that their client is not a fugitive, and that he is simply fighting America’s extradition efforts in New Zealand according to the two countries’ extradition treaty – as is his right.

The case has been through various appeals, with the courts for the most part siding with the US authorities. Earlier this year, Dotcom’s lawyers announced plans to take the case to the Supreme Court, saying that if the top court knocked back the case, or confirmed the lower court rulings, it would “weaponise fugitive disentitlement in order to claim assets abroad”.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision not the hear the case, Dotcom’s legal rep Ira Rothken told Torrentfreak: “We are disappointed in the US Supreme Court’s denial of the ‘cert petition’ – it is a bad day for due process and international treaties. Kim Dotcom has never been to the United States, is presumed innocent, and is lawfully opposing extradition under the US/New Zealand Treaty – yet the US, by merely labelling him as a fugitive, gets a judgment to take all of his assets with no due process”.

However, he added, this is not the final step in their attempts to get those assets back, saying: “The New Zealand and Hong Kong courts, who have authority over the assets, will now need to weigh in on this issue and we are cautiously optimistic that they will take a dim view of the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine and oppose US efforts to seize such assets”.

While this is all going on, Dotcom et al continue their efforts to avoid being extradited from New Zealand to the US.



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