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Double legal setback for Kim Dotcom

By | Published on Tuesday 21 October 2014

Kim Dotcom

MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has had two setbacks in his long-running legal battle with the American and New Zealand authorities. Prosecutors in the US, of course, want to extradite Dotcom so he can face charges of copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering in relation to his defunct file-transfer platform. Meanwhile the American music and movie industries are suing him for damages.

The first setback comes in the Mega founder’s bid to keep his financial affairs a secret. As previously reported, the record companies and movie studios earlier this year raised concerns about how Dotcom is funding his seemingly lavish lifestyle, new business interests and political adventures when all the monies made by MegaUpload were meant to have been frozen in 2012.

The content companies are concerned that Dotcom has secret access to hidden Mega money which should have been set aside to pay any damages they may or may not be rewarded if and when their litigation against him reaches court. For his part, Dotcom insists he is now living off and investing wealth that he has generated since the US authorities forced his MegaUpload enterprise offline.

The movie studios, in their legal proceedings, asked for Dotcom to declare his worldwide assets, and earlier this summer a judge approved that request. To that end the Mega man was forced to provide information to the courts in late August, though continued to appeal the ruling demanding the financial figures be shared with his Hollywood opponents. But the appeal has now been denied, meaning the financials will now be shared with the studios, though they will not be made public.

Meanwhile, in a second ruling in the New Zealand courts this week, Team Dotcom have been denied access to papers from various government agencies in the country which the Mega team’s lawyers said they needed to prepare their case against America’s extradition application (in particular to hone allegations of collusion between the US and NZ governments to bring about Dotcom’s downfall).

A lower court previously refused to give Dotcom access to the documents he wanted, so he sought an appeal via judicial review. But hearing that appeal in New Zealand’s High Court this week, a judge reportedly ruled that there was no “air of reality” to the collusion claims and therefore no case for handing over the confidential papers.

The many winding and long drawn out Dotcom legal wranglings continue.