David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

US hip-hop star potential target in Dotcom case

Hip-hop star Swizz Beatz has been raised as a potential target in the FBI case against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom.

In documents filed by the United States Department of Justice on Saturday, the lead lawyer in the case has laid out the possibility of serving legal papers on Swizz Beatz - the husband of R&B star Alicia Keys - over copyright violation on Megaupload.

Virginia State Attorney Neil MacBride said Megaupload had appointed two chief executives to work on its behalf in the United States - and one of those was hip-hop star Swizz Beatz.

Otherwise known as Kaseem David Dean, he had acted on behalf of Megaupload in dealings with the Office of the US Trade Representative after the company was named in the Notorious Markets Review. The company was listed among the world's rogue sites a month before the Megaupload raid in January.

Mr MacBride said the US government had recently approached Swizz Beatz again. He said the recording star "refused to co-operate".

"Delivering a summons to Mr Dean [Swizz Beatz], a resident of the United States, in his capacity as apparent chief executive officer, should also constitute proper service of process upon an officer of the company."

The recording star has previously described links between him and the company as "premature".

Dotcom counts some of the recording industry's biggest names as friends. His upcoming album is produced by Black Eyed Peas producer Printz Board, who also produced a promotional song for Megaupload featuring Keys, P Diddy, Will.i.am and Chris Brown.

- NZ Herald

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