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Thursday, June 7, 2012

American Authorities Will Deny MegaUpload a Fair Trial

According to the latest information, the chances of MegaUpload’s owner Kim Dotcom facing a fair trial in the United States appear little. The American government seems to make it as difficult as possible for MegaUpload to obtain legal advice in the country. For example, when the top law company of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan asked for permission to represent the cyberlocker in the case, the authorities have refused. Their argument is that the MegaUpload’s owner shouldn’t be allowed to use money stolen from the entertainment industry to pay for a lawyer to help him. In response, Quinn Emanuel pointed out that the government’s objections are too broad and can effectively prevent the company from hiring any lawyer at all.

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As for the New Zealand courts, they have seen the sense of allowing Dotcom to withdraw his money to cover living expenses while his extradition case was being discussed. However, the American government complains that the funds give MegaUpload’s founder lots of money to pay for legal representation. Meanwhile, the New Zealand court specifically earmarked the money for living expenses only, not legal fees, and the MegaUpload’s case would require lots of computer forensics and attorneys with copyright expertise.

However, it seems that the American government has other reasons for not wanting Quinn Emanuel: this company can boast extensive experience handling copyright cases for the entertainment industry, and this might appear a conflict of interest since the firm’s its other customers are actually MegaUpload’s victims. And so the US government argues before a New Zealand court that it’s better for Kim Dotcom to have no lawyer than one having connections to his victims. Although this argument can be applied to almost any law firm, the American government has gone further, saying that since Dotcom is fighting extradition, he is “fugitive from justice” and isn’t entitled to be represented in American courts until the extradition fight is over.

Hopefully, the New Zealand legal system will be interested in how its citizen is treated in the United States. After all, the entire extradition process should only be allowed if the person will get a fair trial. It seems that the American government is only doing its best to make sure Dotcom won’t get one.

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