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Kickass man’s lawyer plans to take case to human rights court

By | Published on Friday 10 March 2017


The US legal rep of alleged KickassTorrents owner Artem Vaulin has vowed to appeal last week’s extradition ruling in the Polish courts, while also claiming that his client’s treatment so far is a violation of human rights law.

As previously reported, the US authorities are attempting to extradite Ukrainian Vaulin from Poland, where he was arrested last year, to face charges of copyright crimes back in America over his role running the former major file-sharing hub. A court in Poland last week said that Vaulin could be extradited, though there are still further stages to go in that extradition process, in addition to any appeals.

In the US, Vaulin is being represented by the same lawyer as MegaUpload’s Kim Dotcom, Ira Rothken. He is trying to have the case against the KAT man dismissed in the US courts on the basis that so called secondary or contributory infringement is not a criminal matter under American law. Because a file-sharing hub like KAT doesn’t actually host any of the unlicensed content its users share, its liabilities would be for contributory rather than direct infringement, and in a civil case that’s what you’d sue Vaulin for.

Meanwhile, Rothken has also been hitting out at the way Vaulin has been treated since his arrest last year. Unlike Dotcom, who is fighting extradition to the US in his adopted home of New Zealand, Vaulin was not granted bail by the Polish authorities, and has been in custody ever since his arrest, though some of that has been in hospital where he has been treated for back problems.

Despite already fighting his corner in the US court, Rothken has only just been given permission by the authorities to actually meet with Vaulin, who has separate Polish legal representation in his extradition case. It was following that meeting that Rothken revealed that – in addition to an appeal in the Polish courts and the ongoing legal wranglings in the US – he is planning on taking the case to the European Court Of Human Rights.

Rothken told Torrentfreak: “Artem is presumed innocent and the failure to provide him with bail in a novel copyright case on mere torrent files, which is an alleged non-violent crime, violates his human rights. Artem’s incarceration makes it so he can’t meaningfully participate in his defence in a complex internet copyright case where logically he needs access to the internet to assist his global legal team”.

So, as with Dotcom’s legal battle, there are now various strands and complexities emerging in the case against Vaulin. It remains to be seen if he ever faces the core charges made against him in an American courtroom.