Kim Dotcom has failed to reacquire the millions of dollars in funds that the U.S. government seized after taking down his site and having him arrested in New Zealand back in 2012. Following a lengthy appeal, the court has refused his claim and upheld the judgement that by remaining outside of the U.S., he is a fugitive of the law.
The U.S. government has claimed the legal right to withhold Dotcom’s cash stocks, properties and other assets for years now, because it claims they were purchased through profits acquired from money laundering and copyright infringement. Although that is legally arguable, it’s managed to maintain its grip on his cash and assets through the fugitive moniker.
I'm a 'fugitive' coz I use my treaty rights to defend against extradition & they take my assets without trial? 1938? https://t.co/C4JPgn1POj
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) August 13, 2016
The assets have a total value of some $67 million (£52 million) across a number of bank accounts, vehicles and luxury items (as per TorrentFreak).
The failed appeal by Dotcom’s legal team is certainly a set back for the German national, but Dotcom and his defence, headed by Ira Rothken, has yet to give up. Moving forward, they would seek a review of the appeal court’s decision and would petition the Supreme Court if the review approves the current decision.
“This opinion has the effect of eviscerating Kim Dotcom’s treaty rights by saying if you lawfully oppose extradition in New Zealand, the U.S. will still call you a fugitive and take all of your assets,” Rothken said in a statement.
He went on to call the U.S. tactics imperialistic and with no legal bearing.
That may not be the only Dotcom case that ends up at the Supreme Court though. The MegaUpload founder is also facing extradition after he lost the trial last year, but plans to appeal that decision and will take it to the Supreme Court also, if required.
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KitGuru Says: As much as there is likely to be a case that Dotcom was at least aware of copyright infringement on MegaUpload, it is very worrying that the U.S. can call someone a fugitive and just take their money, without much legal standing or recourse.