David Fisher

David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Key misled by US, claims Dotcom

Kim Dotcom links motives for his prosecution to film studios' political contributions. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Kim Dotcom links motives for his prosecution to film studios' political contributions. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Kim Dotcom has called for an investigation into the FBI case against Megaupload in a legal review which accuses Prime Minister John Key of being misled by the United States.

The "White Paper" released by Mr Dotcom last night also alleges the illegal spying by the GCSB went on for 10 days longer than the spy bureau has previously admitted.

The 39-page document written by his legal team aims to dissect the FBI investigation against him and three Megaupload colleagues arrested on criminal copyright charges last year. It is entitled "Megaupload, the Copyright Lobby, and the Future of Digital Rights: The United States versus You (and Kim Dotcom)".

It calls for investigations by US Senate oversight committees, linking the motives for the prosecution to Hollywood studios' political contributions and support for President Barack Obama.

The paper was released at midnight New Zealand time, coinciding with the visit to New Zealand of United States Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the US Department of Justice under which the FBI exists. The office of NZ Attorney General Chris Finlayson, QC, confirmed the Megaupload case would be discussed with Mr Holder.

Dotcom's White Paper stated the case against Megaupload was "propelled by the White House's desire to mollify the motion picture industry in exchange for campaign contributions and political support".

It said the Motion Picture Association of America's membership were "some of the Democratic Party's strongest political supporters and most generous campaign contributors".

The paper linked Vice-President Joe Biden to fellow Democrat and former friend and Senator Chris Dodd, now head of the MPAA.

"Together they conceived and executed the attack on Megaupload," it claimed.

The document also lays out the illegal acts linked to the prosecution carried out by authorities in New Zealand - the illegal spying by the Government Communications Security Bureau, the unlawful search warrant and the FBI's illegal removal of evidence from New Zealand.

It stated "the New Zealand authorities illegally spied on Kim Dotcom prior to his arrest, and continued to spy on him illegally for an additional 10 days after the arrest".

The date range extended the timeframe which the GCSB had previously admitted, and for which Mr Key has apologised.

It also accused the NZ police of staging the elaborate raid to meet the FBI's public relations objectives.

"It was an overdone charade, an elaborate version of the 'perp walk' designed to prejudge the accused, to lay on a guilty verdict through imagery rather than the justice system."

A spokesman for the GCSB confirmed the illegal spying had gone on for 10 days longer than previously stated. He said the "GCSB operation" ran from the dates previously stated - December 16, 2011 until January 20, 2012. However, he said "technically the unlawful surveillance ended on 30 January 2012 when the necessary administrative steps were completed".

He said information collected after the raid "was not accessed or viewed by any analysts until after the GCSB realised it had acted unlawfully".

Mr Holder's visit to New Zealand is for meeting of Attorneys General from the US, NZ, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Dotcom has said the meeting will also see a gathering of the Strategic Alliance Group - a five nations law enforcement group.

THE CASE

What has happened to the case involving Kim Dotcom and others?

High Court action, including a review of the search warrant used in the FBI-driven raid on Kim Dotcom's mansion in January last year, is still under way. The extradition case is set down to be heard in August.

What has happened about our government acting unlawfully?

The spies at GCSB have been investigated and a reorganisation has taken place. The police are carrying out a criminal investigation over the illegal spying. Meanwhile, police and spies both face lawsuits for damages arising from the illegal search and seizure during the arrest and illegal spying leading up to it. The FBI is still refusing to return evidence taken from New Zealand.

What is a White Paper - and does it change anything?

A White Paper is intended to be a defining report on an issue. In this case, it reviews the case against the four men facing extradition and calls for US Senate investigations into the FBI and the influence of political funding.

What does it say?

It claims Hollywood studios coerced the Obama Administration into taking down Megaupload in return for political funding and support.

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- NZ Herald

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