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US Government said to have 'lied to get information' in Kim Dotcom case


By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 6, 2013 | 3 min read

The file-sharing website, founded by Kim Doctom, is alleging that the U.S. government lied to a court to get search warrants for computer servers in Virginia belonging to the website. Megaupload is accused of orchestrating the biggest copyright-infringement conspiracy in U.S. history.

Kim Dotcom: Still in New Zealand

Megaupload, based in Hong Kong, said in a filing in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, reported by Bloomberg, that the U.S. government had sought Megaupload’s cooperation in the investigation and the company agreed, unaware it was the target of the investigation.

American officials came before the court "with a selective, distorted account” to obtain the search warrants, Megaupload said in the filing, according to Bloomberg, “The government deliberately misled the court that signed the search warrants and failed to disclose material exculpatory information.”

Kim Dotcom, 38, the founder of Megaupload, has been indicted in what U.S. prosecutors say is a “mega conspiracy.” His file-sharing website is said to have generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds from pirated film, music, book and software files.

If convicted,Kim Dotcom, currently in New Zealand, faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the racketeering and money-laundering charges.

Megaupload filed the documents, asking to be allowed to take part in a hearing in Alexandria addressing the validity of the U.S. warrants, said the Bloomberg report.

A New Zealand judge ruled warrants used by police there to search Dotcom’s home in Auckland were overly broad and invalid.

The U.S. shut down Megaupload after charges against seven individuals, including Dotcom, were unsealed in court last January. $42 million worth of assets has been frozen by the Customs in Hong Kong. Kim Dotcom is however planning a new website. to be unveiled shortly to be called Mega.

Kim Dotcom has denied any wrongdoing, and the case against him , has been the subject of controversy over its legality. The US judge handling the case has expressed doubts about whether the case will come to court, said Wikipedia.

The U.S. notified Megaupload in June 2010 that its leased servers in Virginia had 39 infringing copies of copyrighted motion pictures. By Nov. 18, 2011, 36 of the films were still present on the servers, according to the U.S.

The U.S. paints Megaupload “as a brazen scofflaw,” that refused to remove the infringing content, Megaupload said, adding,“The truth, as the government well knows, is quite different.”

Megaupload says, according to Bloomberg, it kept the files on the servers because the government told it to take no action that could disclose the existence of the investigation..

German-born Dotcom was arrested at his home in Auckland, in January last year . He spent four weeks in jail before being released. An extradition hearing is scheduled for March.


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