SYDNEY (Australia), July 20 (EFE). The United States has withdrawn an extradition request for one of Kim Dotcom’s three partners who were convicted with him in New Zealand of copyright infringement and other charges related to a closed Megaupload download portal, according to judicial sources.
New Zealand’s Court of Appeals, where Dotcom and the other defendants are trying to avoid extradition, indicated in a recent ruling that the US judiciary decided not to request the extradition of Finnish Habib Batatu due to unspecified health problems.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Batatu could be ill.
The United States initially sought to prosecute Dotcom, Batatu, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk on its territory, after the extensive operation organized by the FBI in the mansion rented by a German computer scientist in the suburbs of Auckland in January 2012, for 13 crimes, including organized crime and laundering Money and electronic fraud in the United States.
“Until very recently, he also requested the extradition of Mr. Batatou, but due to health problems he no longer does so,” according to a brief note provided by the court on July 12, which addresses technical questions related to this Washington request in its latest extension.
“Wishing you freedom and love,” Dotcom said two days later in a tweet that did not name Batato, his childhood friend and only Dotcom partner who had no involvement with the Megaupload.
This ruling by the New Zealand Court of Appeal dismissed some of the technical cases referred last year by the Supreme Court, which ruled that the group was eligible to extradite on 12 of the 13 charges against them.
“We look forward to seeking leave from the New Zealand High Court for an appeal. Cloud storage providers should not be held criminally responsible for the alleged infringement of their users,” said US attorney for the German computer scientist, Ira Rothkin.
He added in a tweet last week that “there are many legal and procedural issues that still need to be addressed,” declaring that the fight against extradition to the United States is not yet over.
In theory, it remains only for the Minister of Justice, Chris Favoy, to sign the extradition of dotcom and its partners to make it effective.
However, the New Zealand Herald notes that another legal battle could still be opened for review to the Supreme Court and other legal remedies could be brought forward that could span years.
US authorities assert that Megaupload illegally generated income of about $175 million (€150 million) by hosting illegal material among its 50 million users.
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