Kim DotCom offers a travel deal to U.S. Justice Department
The MegaUpload founder says he will travel to the U.S. without extradition provided that his assets are unfrozen to cover legal and living expenses.
MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom has a proposition for the U.S. Justice Department, which is trying to extradite DotCom to the U.S. to face piracy charges.
He's offering to travel to the U.S. voluntarily -- provided federal authorities unfreeze his assets to cover his legal expenses and cost of living.
"Hey DOJ, we will go to the US. No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses," DotCom said in a tweet.
DotCom claims the cloud-storage locker was completely legitimate and protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. U.S. officials, who are trying to extradite Dotcom and six associates, say he encouraged users to store pirated videos, music, software, and other media and then share them with others.
After theon criminal copyright violations and racketeering, DotCom was arrested in a January raid on his New Zealand mansion that yielded data and millions in cash and property belonging to DotCom.
However, the legality of the evidence seized was called into question last month when a New Zealand judgealleged and as such were invalid. She also ruled that it was unlawful for the data confiscated in the raid to have been copied by the FBI and sent offshore.
DotCom made the travel offer a day after a New Zealand court postponed his extradition hearing to next year over questions about the legality of evidence seized with search warrants later declared invalid.
After the postponement, DotCom told The Hollywood Reporter that U.S. authorities "don't have a case."
"If they are forced to provide discovery, then there will be no extradition," DotCom said."That's why they don't want to provide discovery. If they had a case, they would not need to hide what they have."
"This...was about killing MegaUpload and creating a chilling effect to freeze the whole file-hosting sector. They achieved that," Dotcom said. "I don't think they are prepared for the wave that's coming to them now."
The U.S. Justice Department maintains that the assets do not belong to DotCom and never did. In a previous statement provided to the court, the department argues:
All seizures were effected following a grand jury's finding of probable cause that they were subject to criminal forfeiture, as well as this Court's probable cause finding with respect to the seizure warrants. As such, the seized assets are simply not the defendants' to spend -- and they never were. The Supreme Court in Monsanto held explicitly that "there is no exemption from 853's forfeiture or pretrial restraining order provisions for assets which a defendant wishes to use to retain an attorney." Where, as here, the government seeks to preserve seized and restrained assets for a "restitutionary end, the Government's interest in forfeiture is virtually indistinguishable from its interest in returning to a bank the proceeds of a bank robbery; and a forfeiture-defendant's claim of right to use such assets to hire an attorney, instead of having them returned to their rightful owners, is no more persuasive than a bank robber's similar claim."
Updated 7/11 at 8:30 a.m. PT with Justice Department comment.