Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Dotcom's Revenge


LawFuel.co.nz - New Zealand Legal News - The New Zealand government has exposed itself to what may be an unlimited indemnity in favour of Kim Dotcom, the man the US government is seeking to have extradicted on criminal copyright and related charges from New Zealand.The Megaupload boss had his business closed when New Zealand police raided his mansion in Auckland on 20 January.

Since then a string of victories achieved by the Dotcom legal team have revealed that the original restraining order upon which the police operated was "null and void".The New Zealand High Court, under an order from Justice Potter, required the government to provide an undertaking as to damages that is almost certainly unlimited.According to the National Business Review legal columnist and LawFuel publisher John Bowie the provision of the undertaking could result in the New Zealand taxpayer being on the wrong end of a damages claim running into hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Dotcom lawyers Willie Akel and Greg Towers at Simpson Grierson will not make public comment regarding the current issues, although they are very clear about their continued, vigorous defence of the current charges against their client," the NBR reported. "Kim Dotcom, as majority owner of Megaupload, is believed to have received over $US40 million in dividends from his company during the 2010 financial year. It’s precise value is therefore high, certainly in the hundreds of millions and maybe more.

"In chump change terms, Kim Dotcom’s liable for $6.5 million in respect of alterations to the mansion, should he be unable to complete purchase. The money would be forfeited to the current owners. But that figure is dwarfed by a potential claim for hundreds of millions of dollars under an indemnity that, so far as I am aware, is unlimited and probably unprecedented in its nature. "When Crown lawyer Madeleine Laracy acknowledged that Crown Law had “overlooked” the issue of giving Dotcom notice of the raid, Justice Potter required that the indemnity be given. The Crown became panicky. They either provided the required indemnity and undertaking to the Court or they gave everything back to Kim Dotcom.

The government were in the odious position of being between Dotcom’s rock and a fiscal hard place. Doubtless the issue arrived not only before Cabinet but also on the desk of Finance Minister Bill English who needed to find someone to put their hand up. The hand they found was Police Commissioner Peter Marshall’s. Apart from the Commissioner’s involvement in the matter there was the then Solicitor-General David Collins and in particular his deputy Cameron Mander.

"Cameron Mander, acting on delegated authority from Attorney General Chris Finlayson, was busy advising the US government, the FBI and everyone else stateside who want to get their hands on Mr Dotcom, about their legal rights and obligations in New Zealand. As one lawyer commented, the complex copyright issues upon which the extradition case depended should have seen Crown Law seek advice from a senior intellectual property lawyer, of whom there are several in New Zealand of international repute.

"Instead, Crown Law proceeded and eventually found their indemnity. The question of whether they also obtained a corresponding US government indemnity is open, but almost certainly they did not but rather acted in the spirit of mutual reciprocity and assistance, for which the US government has been so openly grateful. Establishing Crown liability for those carrying out law enforcement obligations is generally not achievable other than in cases of bad faith. Extensive immunities exist, as senior Auckland Law School lecturer and former Crown lawyer Hanna Wilberg told me. However, there is also the tort of “misfeasance in a public office” which requires malice to be proved and the NZ Bill of Rights, which provides for compensation in respect of an unlawful police search, although there are limits to that remedy, she said.
Read more at: http://www.lawfuel.co.nz/news/409/the-potential-revenge-of-kim-dotcom


--


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hope For Nature: A New Deal For The Commons

Joseph Cederwall on The Dig: The disruption and destruction of the interconnected biodiversity of Earth is the most serious challenge humanity has ever faced. This is an ecosystem emergency on an extinction scale. It is also a serious threat to the inherent rights of the diversity of non-human life, ecosystems and human Cultures on Earth to exist and thrive. The current global paradigm is devastating life everywhere by disrupting vital “ecosystem services” like the food, water, and climate regulation systems that both humanity and biodiversity depend on in an interconnected balance. It is increasingly clear that the primary driver of this crisis is the limiting and infectious worldview around land and resource use so central to the global capitalist system. To fully understand the biodiversity crisis and explore what comes next, it is necessary to address this mind-virus at the heart of our modern civilisation – the dominion worldview. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farming Sector’s Persecution Complex

The narrative that our farmers are ‘doing it tough’ plays into a number of wellworn stereotypes ... More>>

ALSO:

corrections, prisonCorrections: Independent Review Of Prisoner Mail Management

The independent review into the prisoner mail system has today been released, with Corrections accepting all 13 recommendations and making a number of changes to strengthen the management of prisoner mail. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Unlawful Detention Of Teenager; Influence Of Investigation

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that former Inspector Hurimoana Dennis unlawfully detained an Auckland teenager in 2015, and improperly influenced the outcome of a criminal investigation into his own son in 2014. More>>

ALSO:

SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>

ALSO:

Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels