Bram van der Kolk

Listen up fatty, give up already, you’re going sooner or later

Kim Dotcom thinks he’s winning. But the Crown had a message for him yesterday:

Evidence that Kim Dotcom was not allowed to present at his extradition hearing would not have helped his case anyway, the Crown says.

Mr Dotcom and his three co-accused – Bram Van der Kolk, Matthias Ortmann and Finn Batato – are appealing a North Shore District Court judgement ruling them eligible for extradition to the United States.

The US wants to extradite the men to face criminal charges of money-laundering and copyright breaches related to the defunct file-sharing website Megaupload.

At the beginning of the appeal, which is taking place in the High Court in Auckland, the men’s defence lawyers said the district court judge failed to keep an open mind and give meaningful consideration to their arguments against extradition.

Mr Van der Kolk and Mr Ortmann’s lawyer, Grant Illingworth, told the High Court that, crucially, the court had not let the men present evidence of unlawful US behaviour.

“[That includes] a massive search and seizure, manufacturing a situation of urgency in order to get procedural shortcuts … covering up the unlawful activities that preceded the [arrests], downstream attempts to cover that up including a police officer giving incorrect information to this court, [and] unlawfully sending clones of hard drives overseas.”

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Good things come to those who are prepared to stick to the job for the long haul

fatty

Do I look good in Orange?

Tick tock, we are now all waiting with bated breath.

The wheels of the justice system grind slowly, and occasionally slip a cog, but on the whole those who are willing to submit to the complete process get what they deserve.

A judge is set to deliver his decision on whether Kim Dotcom and his associates are eligible for extradition to face charges in the United States.

The German-born internet mogul and his former business associates – Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk – are accused of making US$175 million (NZ$257 million) from what US authorities say is a criminal conspiracy based around file-sharing website Megaupload.   Read more »

Desperation is a stinky cologne

The Fat German is staring down the barrel of a long lonely flight in stainless steel jewellery as the evidence mounts at his extradition hearing.

Desperation has set in…first they tried to suggest the documents were missing…they weren’t…and now they are trying to get the hearing stopped.

Lawyers for Kim Dotcom and his co-accused are arguing again that an extradition hearing should be halted.

Mr Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato face extradition to the United States on copyright and money-laundering charges, related to their file-sharing website, Megaupload.

Last week, Judge Nevin Dawson refused to hear several applications from the men for a stay in proceedings, saying they could be heard in the context of the main hearing.   Read more »

Dotcom gets the weekend to reflect

After the first week of Dotcom’s extradition hearing, Dotcom seems to be hoist by his own words

On Friday Christine Gordon QC, who is acting for the US, read an extensive series of Skype conversations and emails between the men, arguing they revealed they knew the business was a criminal enterprise from the start.

In one conversation, two of the accused discussed how they expected Dotcom to flee if the business hit trouble.

“The fact is when there’s no way out, Kim will also grab the last couple of millions and go on hiding mode again when that happens,” Van der Kolk was quoted as telling Ortmann.

“The likeliness of us getting in trouble for some reason is getting bigger.”

Dotcom stared forward and gently shook his head once as the evidence was read out.

Ortmann and Van der Kolk were right of course.  They had seen Dotcom do it before.    So why stay around someone who is clearly able to turn them into cannon fodder?   Money.  And lots of it.   Read more »

No more delays for Dotcom says judge

Headache

Headache

Tick, tock, time’s nearly up for Kim Dotcom after a judge turned down his request to delay his extradition proceedings until October.

NBR reports:

Kim Dotcom and his co-accused have lost a bid to delay their extradition hearing to October this year.

The US government wants Mr Dotcom and co-accused Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk to go the US to face copyright infringement charges for their roles in file-sharing site Mega Upload.   Read more »

Why won’t the Herald speak about Dotcom’s latest court outing?

All last week we had breathless and wrong reporting from the High Court in the John Banks case, then on Friday afternoon Kim Dotcom got shot out of court on his conspiracy theories, and the suppression of the evidence against him was lifted.

3News covered it, Fairfax covered it, Larry Williams climbed in NewstalkZB on Friday night and even Radio New Zealand had extensive coverage.

FBI evidence against Kim Dotcom says his companies made more than $200 million over five years from his Megaupload website, and that he was aware of the site’s copyright infringement.

It shows his co-accused were concerned that if the authorities started investigating the website, the internet entrepreneur would take all the company’s money and go into hiding.

The High Court in Auckland on Friday lifted suppression on the summary of evidence the FBI has gathered since 2010 against Mr Dotcom, as the New Zealand courts consider the United States’ attempts to extradite him and three co-accused. The internet businessman’s lawyers had applied for suppression to continue.

The United States is seeking the extradition of Mr Dotcom and three other men accused of copyright infringement and money-laundering charges relating to the now-defunct Megaupload website.

The summary includes email and Skype discussions involving the four accused.

It details payments of up to $205 million moving from Megaupload users to the company’s accounts from which Mr Dotcom was able to distribute money.

It also shows Mr Dotcom talking about wanting to stay under the radar, and downplay the success of the site to the media.

The evidence includes a Skype conversation in March 2009, where Mr Dotcom talked to his chief technological officer and co-accused Mathias Ortmann about how they should prepare for lawsuits should they happen.

Mr Dotcom suggested hiring an in-house attorney to prepare them for anything.

The summary says that in three conversations during 2007 and 2008 between Mr Ortmann and programmer Bram Van der Kolk, the latter refers to the pair as pirates.

In each conversation, Mr Ortmann tells Mr Van der Kolk that is not the case, that they are service providers. At one point, he says that is providing a service to pirates and in another instance says they are evil. Mr Van der Kolk says a service provider is what they are legally but they know better.

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UK media vs NZ media when reporting on Kim Dotcom

Our media is full of stories about the plucky fat German taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court.

The subtext is that this lovely underdog will keep battling the evil empire. So clearly his PR is still working a treat on our repeaters, it helps of course that one major daily has embedded journalists working with his lawyers.

But step outside New Zealand and the harsh reality for this convicted crook is plain for all to see.

Guardian covers the facts

Guardian covers the facts

US prosecutors have won a court case that brings them a step closer in their attempts to have the Megaupload founder and three of his colleagues extradited from New Zealand.

The appeals court in Wellington overturned an earlier ruling that would have allowed Kim Dotcom and the others broad access to evidence in the case against them at the time of their extradition hearing, which is scheduled for August. The four are accused of facilitating massive copyright fraud through the internetfilesharing site.

The court ruled that extensive disclosure would bog down the process and that a summary of the US case would suffice.

Dotcom, a German national, says he is innocent and cannot be held responsible for others using the site to illegally download songs and films. Along with him, US prosecutors are seeking the extraditions of Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, each of whom held senior positions at Megaupload before American authorities shut the site down in 2012.

Paul Davison, one of Dotcom’s lawyers, said he planned to appeal at New Zealand’s supreme court. Dotcom’s legal team must first submit an application to the court which will then decide whether an appeal has enough merit to proceed.

In its ruling the appeals court found that full disclosure of evidence was not necessary at the extradition hearing because the hearing was not the venue to determine guilt or innocence. The court pointed out that the legal obligation on the US was simply to prove it had a valid case.

The court also found that extradition treaties are essentially agreements between governments and “even though courts play a vital part in the process, extradition is very much a government to government process”

The sooner this fat german crook is put on a plane the better.

Why not an inquiry in Pants?

Stuff.co.nz

Predictably the Greens want to spend thousands of dollars on another inquiry. What I want to know is why there hasn’t been a call for an inquiry into sparkly pants?

The Green Party is calling for an independent investigation into the raid on internet mogul Kim Dotcom’s house which seemed like a scene from a “bad Hollywood movie”.

Green Party police spokesperson David Clendon said the actions of the police in connection with the Dotcom case needed to be scrutinised by an agency such as the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

In the High Court yesterday, Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled the high-profile police raid that ended in the search and seizure of a large amount of Dotcom’s property was done with invalid warrants.

US authorities claim Dotcom and his three co-accused  Mathias Ortmann, Fin Batato and Bram van der Kolk  used the Megaupload website and its affiliated sites to knowingly make money from pirated movies and games.

They have charged him in the US with multiple copyright offences.

“Given that our police and Crown lawyers were working on behalf of the United States they should have made certain that New Zealand’s laws weren’t trampled on,” said Mr Clendon.

“The original raid on Mr Dotcom’s house was like something from a bad Hollywood movie.”

He said it was of “great concern” that the raid involved invalid warrants.