Kim Dotcom could avoid extradition
Tue, 14 Feb 2012 7:00a.m.
By Imogen Crispe
Internet piracy-accused Kim Dotcom could avoid extradition on a legal technicality, a previous benchmark case shows.
The US is currently looking to extradite the Megaupload founder but charges central to the case may not be sufficient to send Dotcom back.
Copyright infringement, one of Dotcom’s main charges is not covered in the US-New Zealand extradition treaty, and a 2002 case shows racketeering is not either.
In the historic case Bob Cullinane faced US charges of racketeering, visa fraud, alien smuggling and harbouring.
The case took two years and went to the Court of Appeal before Cullinane was discharged.
It concluded that racketeering and other offences were not extraditable offences under the Treaty.
The Treaty on Extradition lists many serious charges a person can be extradited on back to the US, including murder and assault.
Chapman Tripp partner Matt Sumpter told the National Business Review the US government would “struggle to extradite” on copyright and racketeering charges.
However, Philip Morgan QC, the lawyer for the accused Cullinane in the 2002 case, says racketeering and copyright infringement could be covered by the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.
This could potentially override treaty laws between the US and New Zealand.
But Lowndes Jordon partner and copyright law expert Rick Shera told National Business Review the other charges seemed to rely on the copyright infringement charge.
He says this makes any extradition laws around the subsequent charges irrelevant.
Dotcom is currently being held in the Auckland Remand Prison after failing to get bail.
His lawyers last week appeared in the High Court at Auckland to fight restraining orders around Dotcom’s assets.
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27/02/2012 4:02:40 p.m.
peter martin wrote:
It's time the police and polies stopped tugging the forelock and administered NZ law.
The manner in which this matter has been handled does those concerned no credit at all
20/02/2012 3:20:55 p.m.
Maria Tomlinson wrote:
Lets feel sorry for America, they should really start looking after their own citizens before embarking in other coutries.
19/02/2012 11:02:51 a.m.
This is old news. If TV3 had listened to Radio New Zealand three weeks ago it would have found out that the crimes Dotcom is accused of are apparently not covered by NZ's extradiction treaty with the USA.
16/02/2012 8:55:40 p.m.
Where is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty? This is a shocker. Our authorities are pandering to the US - only goodness knows why!? This whole thing has been a disgrace. I don't care much for the individual but I do care about the basic rights of netizens.
16/02/2012 7:18:39 p.m.
@Craig, the alleged money laundering is due to the alleged copyright infringement, so you could not extradite on a sub charge that relies on the main charge to exist.
Read the article again mate
16/02/2012 12:23:38 p.m.
What about the owners of hulkshare.com, zippyshare.com, 4shared.com and rapidshare.com and many more...
14/02/2012 10:40:26 p.m.
Money laundering is listed so bye bye...
14/02/2012 2:01:47 p.m.
can't say i'm a huge fan of the individual in question, but i can't see this as a bad thing.
then again, this is the US and the NZ government.... odds are good Something will happen to make it go the way the US wants, eventually, unless there is massive public outcry. (most likely something where the only benefit NZ gets is a lack of loss, mind.)
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