Things are not looking all that great for Kim Dotcom right now. His appeal to not be extradited to the United States has been denied by a New Zealand court. This means Dotcom will need to stand trial in the US and face multiple criminal charges regarding his involvement in MegaUpload. It is unclear what this will mean for his upcoming bitcoin ventures, though.
Kim Dotcom To Stand Trial in the US
It is quite evident Dotcom was not looking forward to standing trial in the United States. Ever since his arrest in January of 2012, his team of lawyers have been trying to oppose this extradition with everything they have. Unfortunately, it appears all of these efforts were in vain, as a New Zealand court denied him being exempt from extradition. The charges Dotcom will face in the US include conspiracy to money laundering and racketeering.
As one would expect, Dotcom and his lawyers remain firm in their belief none of these charges will stick. MegaUpload was a file-sharing platform that should not be held accountable for what others hosted on it, according to the defendant. It remains unclear if this argument will fall on deaf ears when Dotcom stand trial in the US, albeit it is widely believed the US government will try to make an example out of him.
Dotcom’s lawyers are not prepared to throw in the towel yet, though. Their case will not be taken to the Court of Appeal, which is the last change to not be extradited to the US. Interestingly enough, there is no relevant criminal offense under New Zealand’s copyright law for what MegaUpload got involved in.
However, Dotcom and three other men are eligible for extradition under conspiracy to defraud and other serious crimes. It is somewhat of a moral victory to see the copyright claims dismissed, albeit it looks like the other charges are far more severe. Whether or not these charges are applicable to the founder and his team while running MegaUpload, will be up to the Court of Appeal to decide.
Rest assured this is not the last we will hear about Kim Dotcom’s battle against extradition. It would appear the legal system is trying to grasp at straws to get him convicted even though there is no clear evidence MegaUpload was created for the purpose of running an international organized criminal enterprise. Moreover, there is no clear evidence the MegaUpload team purposefully promoted content piracy. The people responsible for uploading pirated works should be held accountable, rather than those providing a global hosting service.
The bigger question is how this news will affect Kim Dotcom’s impending bitcoin ventures. He has been tweeting a lot about BitCache, which is designed to combine file sharing with cryptocurrency payments. If he is in fact extradited to the US, those plans will be jeopardized. For now, Bitcache is still on the agenda, albeit that might change depending on how the legal situation evolves.
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