Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Mega Conspiracy

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  • Steve Barnes, in reply to nzlemming,

    Apparently we have porous “boarders”. Who knew?

    Well if you have enough money jonkey will bend over backwards to give you a hand to slip in the back door, if you have even more jonkey will get the rest of us to bend over forwards.
    If you have even more then you can buy NZ Ltd.
    jonkey will do you a good deal.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4661 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    OK, I’m still wading through the Dotcom bail application decision (thanks Russell for the link & NBR for posting it), but have I missed the part with actual evidence for these assertions?

    Secret evidence from a customs official helped a judge decide that internet multimillionaire Kim Dotcom should stay behind bars.

    In a bail decision released yesterday, Judge David McNaughton said the official showed how someone could slip abroad by obtaining false passports.

    An affidavit presented in closed court warned of the “porous” nature of New Zealand’s borders if Dotcom tried to flee by boat or plane from outside the main centres.

    To be a little cynical, it’s hardly a MegaSecret that 1) not very nice people use false papers for nefarious purposes and 2) Since we don’t live in North Korea or Escape from New York the state doesn’t monitor ever jetty and airfield. It hardly makes a slam dunk case that Dotcom could pull a Lord Lucan.

    Wonderful argument that nobody should ever get bail for anything – after all, what’s to stop anyone from ‘going bush’ and skipping a court date? If you want to take it to the reductio ad aburdum, there's only one way to completely eliminate "flight risk" - nobody gets bail of any kind and we 'refocus' the corrections spend into 'capacity building' for remand prisoners.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11864 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Anyone else hearing rumours relating this to the launch of Megabox?
    Teh interwebs is alive with speculation on the subject… (megabox.com seems to have vanished)

    I honestly think there is little or nothing in this.

    For one thing, Megabox launched, albeit in beta, in December.

    For another, if I understand what they were trying to do, customers uploading their entire music collections for public use is still plainly an infringement of copyright.

    As Billboard noted last month, it's not exactly a new idea -- and the actual music sales part of it seems like an afterthought.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18707 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    This is just getting bizarre – and not in a good way.

    Kim Dotcom's no angel and he's too much of a showboat to go into hiding, but the whole affair does sound a bit trumped-up.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4154 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    the part with actual evidence for these assertions

    I haven't read it, but does the judgement list actual evidence for any of the assertions about copyright infringement?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    The judgement on bail seems well within reason. Surely it must be reasonable to think that a man with passports in multiple names, with hidden bank accounts in false names, a safe bolthole that won't extradite him to the USA, and so-on, is a flight risk. After all, if he isn't, who on earth is?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Everyone who gets bail is at some risk of flight or reoffending. That has to be weighed against the right not to be jailed without conviction.

    It seems that there is a good chance that Schmidt's conduct won't amount to an extraditable offence in NZ. The US authorities may well be using the criminal process to disrupt his activities and deter others rather than having an expectation of a conviction.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4419 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I would say he has too much in the game to not want to fight all of this and try to win.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1185 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    The judgement on bail seems well within reason

    Agreed, regardless of the strength of the extradition case.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The double stupidity is that firstly Mr Dot Com gets to buy his way in albeit with $10 million in bonds (so do all people purchasing NZ Bonds at a set amount get residency?) and secondly the arrest for the FBI and application for extradition – it is a double own goal for NZ.

    With regard the investment class – to my mind someone investing in NZ is someone who comes here with a plan to set up a business one that creates jobs, produces something in NZ and adds to the economy. Residency obtained under the investment class is contingent in them actually doing that thing – setting up the business.

    I can’t stand it when the media call Mr Key and Mr Fay and others businessmen/people – they are not what I call businessmen/people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1185 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to DeepRed,

    Kim Dotcom’s no angel

    I think we all take that as read, Red – I’d just like to think the rule of law (including BORA) protects everyone, even the MegaDodgyDouche-nozzles. :)

    The judgement on bail seems well within reason.

    I’ll grant that relying on The Herald is a dangerous thing, and that’s where I have a difficulty. On the face of it, this super-secret affidavit from an unnamed Customs official seems to have stated the bleeding obvious without closing the argument that Dotcom’s flight risk is so severe even a curfew, mandatory reporting & electronic monitoring isn’t an option.

    And for all I know, there may be perfectly legitimate reasons for Schmidt holding multiple passports under different names. Buggered if I know.

    Perhaps I’m just a wet liberal(-ish) pussy, but I’m not entirely convinced the cone of silence here is entirely justified. And while it's not entirely relevant to the matter in hand, if Customs are genuinely of the opinion that our borders are as "porous" as Swiss cheese gone over with a shotgun, I think there's a legitimate public interest in that being in the public domain.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11864 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Everyone who gets bail is at some risk of flight or reoffending. That has to be weighed against the right not to be jailed without conviction.

    Um, yes, everyone is a flight risk to some extent. But very few people appearing before New Zealand courts are millionaires with hidden bank accounts, multiple passports, a strong incentive to flee, and so-on. There are degrees of risk, and he's at the high end. Seriously: if you think that isn't possible to reasonably consider Dotcom isn't a flight risk, who can you consider a flight risk?

    And you know, his associates thought it was likely he'd take the money and run. It's not like it wouldn't be attractive to fly to Germany in order to avoid years in the US prison system, even if it did mean losing a lot of money.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    It's not like it wouldn't be attractive to fly to Germany in order to avoid years in the US prison system, even if it did mean losing a lot of money.

    It does make one wonder why the hell he came here in the first place.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    It’s not like it wouldn’t be attractive to fly to Germany in order to avoid years in the US prison system, even if it did mean losing a lot of money.

    I'd note the United States does have an extradition treaty with Germany, so am I missing something here?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11864 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to 3410,

    I expect he considered our relaxed approach to white collar crimes such as insider trading and securities fraud rather attractive.

    Unfortunately he didn't realize that those rules only apply when your victims are little old ladies and/or the NZ taxpayer. Not the US government's owners.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4419 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    They don't extradite German citizens.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4419 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’ll grant that relying on The Herald is a dangerous thing, and that’s where I have a difficulty. On the face of it, this super-secret affidavit from an unnamed Customs official seems to have stated the bleeding obvious without closing the argument that Dotcom’s flight risk is so severe even a curfew, mandatory reporting & electronic monitoring isn’t an option.

    From reading the judgement, the affidavit was given in closed court because it detailed exactly how porous the border is and how easy it was to get false documentation edit: and how one would go about it, but that's just my reading.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1874 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to nzlemming,

    how one would go about it

    I guess you'd start by asking your local ACT MP for advice.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4419 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to 3410,

    It does make one wonder why the hell he came here in the first place.

    Those pics of him Hammer-timing on the beach at Whitianga may provide some clue. Germans love the Pacific. Seriously, I blame Johann and Georg Forster.

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 420 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps I’m just a wet liberal(-ish) pussy

    My favourite kind of pussy. Nothing worse than a dry, conservative pussy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Rick Shera,

    Re questions about evidence standards, this may not be relevant to the bail application itself but I note that the Extradition Act provides the US with a fast track. US is an “exempted country” under the Extradition (Exempted Country: United States of America) Order 1999. That means that it does not need to comply with the prima facie case standard in section 24(2)(d)(i) of the Extradition Act and can instead present a “record of its case” (summary of evidence and copies of documents and photographs) under section 25.

    So, there’s an interlocutory argument waiting to go all the way to the Supreme Court for a start.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rick Shera,

    Ah, it's Rick Tensing, the famous sherpa ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1874 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rick Shera,

    So, there’s an interlocutory argument waiting to go all the way to the Supreme Court for a start.

    I get the feeling this one's going to be a long haul, yes.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1874 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    Hammer-timing on the beach at Whitianga

    gold

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16478 posts Report Reply

  • Rick Shera, in reply to nzlemming,

    It appeared that you needed a guide to steer you away from the cliff ;-)

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

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