Business News Digital Legal MegaUpload Timeline

Human rights lawyer says German government should intervene in Dotcom case

By | Published on Monday 13 May 2013

Kim Schmitz

A London-based lawyer seemingly working for the legal team of MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz has called on the German government to intervene in America’s ongoing efforts to extradite the controversial digital man from the country where he currently resides, New Zealand, to face charges of money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement in relation to his running of the file-transfer service.

As much previously reported, the US launched its extradition proceedings in early 2012 after shutting down the American-based servers of the MegaUpload business. The process is taking much longer than the Americans initially seemed to hope, and Dotcom’s lawyers in both New Zealand and the US are raising every possible technicality to prevent their client from having to face his charges in an American courtroom. That includes regularly bringing up the admission that some New Zealand agencies involved in investigating Dotcom did so without the right warrants.

But if the American government ultimately succeeds in its extradition application, which US Attorney General Eric Holder last week said he thought it would, then human rights lawyer Robert Amsterdam reckons the German government should take action. Dotcom, of course, is a German national and, says Amsterdam, his human rights have been violated by the US authorities and his native government should therefore act.

According to German news agency DPA, Amsterdam said: “He is a German citizen, aside from being a New Zealand resident. It is a German citizen whose rights have been so abrogated, and there are obligations under the German constitution. We can take this to the office of the [German] Chancellor, which we will, as well as to the German Foreign Ministry, to raise the issue with Washington”.

Having recently written a white paper explaining why he believes Dotcom’s human rights have been violated by the US government shutting down his MegaUpload company and attempting to charge him for various corporate crimes, Amsterdam added: “We have established a strong case that this is a political prosecution and when you match that with the admitted illegality of what went on in the raid … I think it makes a very powerful argument”.