A Kiwi software developer has emerged as a key witness in the FBI case against tycoon Kim Dotcom.
A detailed account of the case against Dotcom was released by the FBI for the first time yesterday to allow so-called victims of alleged piracy to claim against an estimated $80million seized by the FBI.
The FBI also produced a New Zealand victim - a software company owner who provided a synthesiser computer program sold online. The victim, identified as "JM", was expected to testify in the US trial how sales of his program dropped, almost two-thirds of registrations of the product were illegal copies and links to the pirated software were on Dotcom's Megaupload site. The witness was the sole employee of a business that sold audio effects software for $69, US authorities said.
Yesterday's developments also indicate further delays in the court processes, the FBI saying the hearing at which the US will seek to extradite Dotcom and three others from New Zealand will be in July, rather than April. If so, it will be another delay in a drawn-out fight to bring Dotcom and three other Megaupload accuseds - Finn Batato, Bram van der Kolk and Mathias Ortmann - before a US court. They deny the charges.
Yesterday's disclosures were apparently dismissed by Dotcom in a tweet that read: "Merry Xmas from DOJ & MPAA: 2 years later still NO evidence of wilful copyright infringement or a Mega conspiracy". Dotcom's legal team had opposed release of the information, saying it would prejudice his fair trial rights.