Kim “Kim Dotcom” Schmitz, the founder of MegaUpload, may never face trial in the United States as the judge presiding over the case has told the F.B.I that the company has not been properly served criminal papers because it may be outside of American jurisdiction.
“I frankly don’t know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter,” said U.S. district court judge Liam O’Grady.
Judge O’Grady mentioned that the F.B.I’s lack of service meant MegaUpload was “kind of hanging out there”.
The New Zealand Herald is reporting that this delay in the U.S trial follows the discovery that New Zealand authorities seized Mr. Schmitz’s property without giving proper notice, due to a clerical error.
The restraining order on Mr. Schmitz’s property was finally granted last week.
“My understanding as to why they haven’t [served the company with criminal papers] is because they can’t,” explained MegaUpload’s U.S. lawyer Ira Rothken to the New Zealand Herald. “We don’t believe Megaupload can be served in a criminal matter because it is not located within the jurisdiction of the United States.”
However, a Virginia prosecutor (the trial is taking place in that state due to the location of MegaUpload’s North American servers) argued that Mr. Schmitz’s 68% ownership of the company leaves him vulnerable.
In order to successfully extradite Mr. Schmitz to the United States, prosecutors need to prove that should Mr. Schmitz be convicted of the crimes of which he is alleged he will face a five-year jail sentence. Copyright charges in New Zealand carry a maximum of four years, hence the addition of the racketeering charges.
“[The U.S Government] destroyed 220 jobs. Millions of legitimate Mega users have no access to their files,” Mr. Schmitz told TorrentFreak. “We have already been served a death sentence without trial and even if we are found ‘not guilty,’ which we will, the damage can never be repaired.”