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US Attorney General defends MegaUpload assault

By | Published on Thursday 9 May 2013


US Attorney General Eric Holder has hit back at claims by MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz that the American government moved to shut down the controversial file-transfer platform in early 2012 to placate the Hollywood elite, some of whom are important donors to the Democrat Party.

As previously reported, the US accuses Dotcom and his fellow Mega chiefs of money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement, and is trying to extradite them to face the charges in an American court. The charges were first made after the US authorities swooped on Mega’s America-base server facilities in January last year, taking the service offline.

Dotcom has denied the charges he faces from the start, arguing that his company worked within US copyright law by operating a takedown system as described in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The music and movie industries would probably beg to differ. Meanwhile, Team Dotcom are also fighting the US government’s extradition attempts on various technicalities, while honing in on some procedural errors made by the authorities in New Zealand.

This week, Dotcom has reasserted his claim that his old business was legitimate, and that the US government acted on baseless allegations against MegaUpload just to appease its mates in Hollywood, in a new paper published to coincide with a visit by Holder to New Zealand. Dotcom has also accused certain New Zealand politicians of sucking up to the Americans too much, as authorities there assist in the US investigations.

But in an interview with Radio New Zealand, Holder denied the Hollywood donor allegations, insisting that the American government’s case against MegaUpload “was brought on the basis of the facts, on the basis of the law, and it’s consistent with the enforcement priorities that this administration has had”.

According to Agence France-Presse, Holder went on insist that it was totally legitimate for the US to try to extradite the former MegaUpload chiefs now living in New Zealand, adding: “We have an existing treaty between the United States and New Zealand that’s been used many times over the years. I don’t see why any individual would not be subject to that treaty”.

Dotcom, of course, has to fit in his America dissing and efforts to fight extradition around running the MegaUpload successor Mega.