After 10 years of legal battles that followed the shutdown of Megaupload, former bosses Matthias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk want to put their plight behind them.
The prospect of being extradited to the United States to face charges of copyright infringement, extortion and money laundering proved to be a heavy burden for the men, so when they had the opportunity to remain in New Zealand, they seized it.
En mai, ils ont annoncé qu’un accord avait été conclu avec le gouvernement néo-zélandais et les États-Unis en vertu duquel ils avaient accepté d’être inculpés en Nouvelle-Zélande pourésé aux ils quelés auxiliaries à la cité United State. This means that they will not have to be extradited to the United States and, if found guilty, any sentence will be carried out in New Zealand.
A little over a week later, a scheduled hearing in Auckland District Court was moved to the Supreme Court where Ortmann, 50, and Van der Kolk, 39, were later charged with conspiracy in connection with an “organized criminal group”. To illegally enjoy copyright infringing material.
Ortmann and van der Kolk pleaded guilty today
Having an agreement suggests that the men would plead guilty and in the Supreme Court this morning it was upheld. Both pleaded guilty to involvement in an organized criminal group, conspiring with Kim Dotcom and others to cause loss by deceiving copyright holders by hosting and distributing infringing content through Megaupload. and associated websites, for financial purposes.
A summary of billing facts indicates that Ortmann was a 25% shareholder in Megaupload Limited and generated approximately $19 million from Megaupload. Fellow Van der Kolk owned 2.5% of the company and received approximately $3 million.
“The defendants’ technical knowledge was essential to the creation and growth of Megaupload. Mr. Dotcom ultimately decided matters of policy and direction, but he lacked the practical experience to carry out his wishes,” the statement of fact reads.
“He relied on the defendants to create and manage Megaupload’s technical infrastructure. The crime would not have been possible without their involvement.
Ortmann and van der Kolk were found guilty based on an admission of guilt by Judge Sally Fitzgerald. The men will remain free on bail and a sentencing date will be set in October.
In a video interview in the Supreme Court, the men said accepting the charges was another step in putting the ordeal behind them and moving on with their lives.
“It’s another step toward abandoning Megaupload,” Ortmann said. Things. “It’s been 10 years, and we’re now living in the future with Mega. We’ve built a new cloud storage company, so there’s absolutely no need to go through these procedures anymore as we put it behind us.
Men want to contribute to New Zealand’s future
After a decade of combative attempts by the United States to expel them from New Zealand, the men say they are now firmly rooted in New Zealand and want to build a future in the country. Ortmann said the couple wanted to contribute to New Zealand as good citizens, a sentiment that van der Kolk shares.
“We have worked incredibly hard on the Mega and are confident that the rehabilitation process has begun a long time ago. We are very proud of what we have built and look forward to being able to continue building, as we still have a lot of work to do,” Van der Kolk said. to do it.”
“We want to focus on productive things and do great things for society – and learn from our mistakes.”
Kim.com takes anger out on ex-friends
Kim.com is not part of the Ortmann and van der Kolk deal. For 10 years, he repeatedly insisted that he would never back down, never accept guilt, and would fight the governments of New Zealand and the United States to the bitter end.
In this case, the guilty plea remains irrelevant, but Dotcom attorney Ron Mansfield this morning hinted at preferential treatment for Ortmann and Van der Kolk at his client’s expense.
“The real question is why Mr. Dotcom has not been brought to trial here and why our justice system has become so favorable to a select few and only when it serves the interests of the government,” Mansfield said.
As for Dotcom, its attitude towards Ortmann and van der Kolk changed significantly within a month. When the plea deal was announced in May, the Megaupload founder said he didn’t blame the men for “giving up.” In a thread of tweets this morning, he accused them of doing it airline Among his works…
…. and facilitating spying on their new mega company, by creating back doors for the Chinese government.
The allegations regarding Mega were made in response to a Detailed Report which claims that Mega was vulnerable to five attacks that together allow “to completely compromise the privacy of users’ files”.
It could have been mega privately informed Emissions in March According to Security Notice Written by Matthias Ortmann, Mega has now released software updates that fix a serious security vulnerability.
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