Kim Dotcom: FBI deliberately mistranslated 'evil' statement

Dotcom has accused the US of wilfully mistranslating him and of trying to twist the New Zealand legal definition of copyright infringement to mean fraud.
Written by Corinne Reichert on

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has argued during his ongoing extradition trial that United States authorities deliberately mistranslated statements he made in German in order to create a case against him.

While the US law-enforcement agencies have declined to provide the original text used by the German-born Dotcom, they had claimed that Dotcom stated: "At some point, a judge will be convinced how evil we are, and then we are in trouble."

This "evil" quote was used in dozens of news articles worldwide and by the FBI to build a case against Dotcom.

Dotcom, on the other hand, said the correct translation was conversely: "Because at some stage a judge will be talked into how bad we allegedly are, and then we will be a mess."

Dotcom has been enmeshed in a legal and political saga since he was arrested and his Auckland home was raided in early 2012 as a result of his activities and involvement with founding website Megaupload, which facilitated the infringement of copyright material online and allegedly earned him around $175 million.

He continues to face extradition to the United States on charges of copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and wire fraud.

While copyright infringement is not a criminal offence in New Zealand, the other charges could see him extradited to the US if he is found guilty of them.

Dotcom's lawyers also accused the US authorities of "contorting" legal definitions to twist copyright infringement into meaning fraud -- with even the US Supreme Court having reached a judgment that copyright infringement does not constitute fraud.

They also argued that New Zealand's Copyright Act precludes ISPs from being prosecuted for the alleged copyright breaches of their users.

"It's an attempt to create criminal liability when none exists," Dotcom's legal team argued.

If extradited to the US where he is also found guilty of the charges, Dotcom could face multiple decades in jail.

The New Zealand government apologised to Dotcom in 2012 for illegally spying on him, and in 2013, he launched Mega, an encrypted cloud storage service that positioned itself as a privacy product.

In July, Dotcom claimed that Mega had fallen victim to a hostile takeover by a Chinese investor who is facing fraud charges in China, with the New Zealand government thereby seizing the investor's shares and gaining control of the company.

"As a result of this and a number of other confidential issues, I don't trust Mega anymore," Dotcom said. "I don't think your data is safe on Mega anymore."

Mega refuted these claims, however, labelling them "defamatory" and untrue.

"More than 75 percent of shareholders have supported recent equity issues, so there has not been any 'hostile takeover', contrary to Mr Dotcom's assertion," Mega said.

"Those shareholders who have decided not to subscribe to recent issues have been diluted accordingly. That has been their choice."

Last week, Dotcom announced plans to launch an alternative, non-IP based internet called Meganet, which would be secure from government surveillance.

"I wanted to create a solution that replaces the current infrastructure that is so flawed and fragile, so I started work two years ago on my alternative internet, Meganet," he said at SydStart 2015.

"The way it works is pretty astonishing, because if you don't have IP addresses, you can't hack the server, you can't perform a denial-of-service attack on websites, or gaming services, and you can't take an entire site and services offline any more. Most importantly, it is very difficult for governments to invade on our privacy.

"This entire network that I'm working on is fully encrypted, and the way it works is really a network from the people, for the people."

Dotcom's extradition hearing began late last month in an Auckland court.

With AAP


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