Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom Offers to Surrender to the FBI, at a Price

Photo: Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload associates are seeking to break the legal impasse between him and the FBI, by offering to fly to the United States without an extradition hearing in New Zealand.

In return, Dotcom demands a fair trial guarantee and return of money to support their families and to pay legal fees which are thought to be in the millions of dollars after several months of court battles.

Dotcom and seven top employees of MegaUpload are charged by U.S. authorities with operating a criminal conspiracy to violate copyright laws that netted over $500 million in ads and subscription fees. The feds seized MegaUpload’s domains and servers, as well as Dotcom’s bank accounts and fancy cars in January.

The ever-provocative Dotcom tweeted Wednesday: “Hey DOJ, we will go to the US. No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses.”

The German filesharing tycoon and his co-accused have a legal team comprising 25 lawyers in four countries working on their individual cases as well as that of Megaupload the company. According to Megaupload’s U.S. lead lawyer, Ira Rothken, none of the legal team has been paid yet.

But Rothken would not confirm or deny if a deal was in the making, telling Wired, “We will not comment one way or another on the involving private discussions between counsel or whether such discussions even occurred.”

On Tuesday, Dotcom was told that the extradition hearing for him and Finn Batato, Bram van der Kolk and Mathias Ortmann had been postponed until March 2013. It was originally scheduled to take place on August 7 this year.

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Dotcom says he hasn’t been able to pay any of his legal costs.

“They just want to hang me out to dry and wait until there is no support left,” Dotcom is quoted as saying.

Due to the twists and turns in the Megaupload case that include the New Zealand police illegally executing searches and seizures with invalid warrants, the legal process has become convoluted and is expected to take a long time to resolve.

Judge David Harvey who ordered the FBI to produce the evidence it holds on Dotcom and associates wrote in a court minute Tuesday the New Zealand Crown lawyers are likely to go to the Court of Appeal if the High Court upholds his ruling. Harvey adds that the appeal could go all the way to the New Zealand Supreme Court.

Having made the offer, however, Dotcom says the FBI will never agree to the deal as it can’t win the case against him and Megaupload and knows this already.