Here's the Kim DotCom Bail Decision

Many thanks to the New Zealand Ministry of Justice. I sent an email this morning to their media department asking for a copy of the Kim DotCom bail decision, and they cheerfully obliged. Now that's how to run a government agency!

Here is the decision. (I'm about to go read it to see what I missed here.)

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    Excellent, diligent journalism (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 08:31:52 PM EST
    getting the actual order.  Nice work.  On a quick read, the new judge finds sufficient changed circumstances -- particularly including the correction of several misrepresentations by the prosecutor to the earlier judge about DotCom's passports, and about what extradition treaties are in place between the U.S. and countries where he has ties -- to change the balance of risks.

    So, talking purely hypothetically... (none / 0) (#2)
    by EL seattle on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:11:01 PM EST
    If Dotcom (or someone in his position) did decide to flee New Zealand before the extradition hearing - and was then apprehended in Germany... Would he be tried in Germany for jumping bail in New Zealand? The NZ court might not be too happy with him for taking off before the hearing, and possibly wouldn't want to encourage that sort of behaviour.

    And if convicted in Germany of that particular crime, would he be sent back to New Zealand to serve a prison sentence?  (Is that still considered an extradition after a trial verdict?)

    According to the treaty excerpt in the decision-

    If the Requested State does not extradite its own national, it shall, at the request of the Requesting State, submit the case to its competent authorities in order that the proceedings may be taken if they are considered appropriate.

    I'm sure that Germany has some sort of structure to handle this.  If their constitution says that no German shall be extradited to a foreign country, they probably have some way of discouraging, say, local bank robbers from commuting across the border to France to pull off heists, knowing they can sleep safe and sound back at their home in Germany afterwards.  

    (Or maybe Germany has a different treaty arrangement with neighboring countries.)

    What that means I think (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:33:30 PM EST
    is that because German nationals can't be extradited from Germany to the U.S, Germany is supposed to charge the person in Germany with equivalent crimes and have the trial there. Money laundering is, I assume, an offense in Germany. I'm not sure about organized crime. Apparently it's not that uncommon a provision.

    It's pretty remarkable the prosecutors and FBI would mislead the Court at the first bail hearing and claim we had no extradition treaty with Germany or that DotCom would be home free if he went to Germany.

    Kim DotCom is a safe bet for bond. He isn't going anywhere. He believes he'll win the extradition, and if he loses, he can appeal to two higher courts and drag it out for a few years. Why wouldn't he stay there, it's the least risky place for him right now. NZ isn't charging him with anything, his family is there, he's brought millions to New Zealand (as part of his getting residency) so they like him. He can host a reality tv show or write a book and get a big advance or get a huge consulting contract. Why run? There's no place in the world he can hide, especially with a family.

    Since his lawyers are still working hard, I suspect he had the foresight to pay them big retainers before this all happened.


    Sven Echternach is in Germany now. (none / 0) (#5)
    by EL seattle on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 10:42:22 PM EST
    Apparently.  (Maybe?)

    Apparently Echternach was/is head of business development of Megaupload, and he was one of two men arrested around Jan. 24, according to some reports. This would mean that Julius Bencko, the graphic designer(!), is the only Megaupload 7 desperado who's completely evaded the posse so far.

    But some recent MU news items say that two of the 7 men who were indicted still remain "at large", so maybe there is some uncertainty as to when the treaty's "request of the Requesting state" thing works.  I think that seeing what happens to Echternach in this whole thing (and when it happens, or doesn't happen) will be interesting.


    And what about all those fish?  That's a big human interest angle to this thing that I haven't seen mention of in a few days.  


    I've been wondering (none / 0) (#6)
    by sj on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 11:58:00 PM EST
    about the fish, also.

    I had exactly the same question (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:16:50 PM EST
    in my mind, when reading the judge's discussion of this point.  In U.S. law, there are all sorts of crimes that focus on "traveling for the purpose of violating" this or that other law (including the laws of other countries, in some cases).  Maybe Germany has laws of that sort.