28 February 2015
Bad news continues to flow for Kim Dotcom after a ruling from a United States court barred him from fighting the seizure of his assets.
Dotcom’s United States lawyer, Ira Rothken, said the Eastern District of Virginia Federal Court had found his client was not entitled to contest the forfeiture of his assets because he was a “fugitive” facing extradition.
This was despite Dotcom lawfully fighting the extradition under a treaty signed by both the United States and New Zealand.
“We think this is not offensive to just Kim Dotcom’s rights, but the rights of all Kiwis, Rothken said.
“If any NZ resident opposes US claims, they can have their NZ homes seized by the US courts.”
The ruling was despite the assets being located in New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Rothken expected the United States court to ask both their Hong Kong and New Zealand counterparts to accept their ruling.
“We’re hoping a NZ court will understand you can’t just go and usurp the United States NZ extradition treaty that does provide rights to NZ citizens.”
Dotcom appeared at the High Court in Auckland this week in a legal bid to recover some of his frozen assets to pay mounting legal fees, said to be about $4 million.
His total assets, valued around $11.8 million, were seized in an armed raid of his home when the US began extradition attempts began in January 2012 for Dotcom to face criminal charges for breach of copyright.