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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 21st year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Our gangster government

21 February 2017

The Kim Dotcom saga continues to drag on through the courts and yesterday it was announced, to our shame, that the High Court has upheld a lower-court ruling that extradition proceedings can go ahead.

As most will already know, the USA wants to extradite NZ resident Kim Dotcom to the states where he and is co-accused can stand trial for a range of alleged crimes -- some real, some seemingly trumped up.

The High Court did rule that copyright infringement is not an extraditable offence here in New Zealand but the clever authorities from the USA have tacked on some rather tenuous claims of money laundering and racketeering in order to sidestep that "technicality".

Now we all know that Kim was an arse for violating the copyrights associated with the huge number of movies, videos and other recordings that were regularly found on his dropbox service -- but really, was this any different to the way that a raft of other sites do the same?

Regardless of the merits of the Dotcom Case, there was another very interesting story in yesterday's news which highlights the hypocrisy of the USA and shows just why we ought not be their sock-puppets in such games.

I'm talking about the case of a border guard who shot and killed a 15-year-old boy.

Details of this incident can be read in this Stuff story but in a nutshell, the guard (who was standing on US soil) shot and killed the youth (who was standing on Mexican soil) and the Mexicans want him extradited to face murder charges.

Of course the US government has said "No way José".

Now this would appear to be a very clear-cut case of one man taking another person's life without due cause or justification. Although the guard claims that the youth was one of a group who were attacking him, video evidence clearly suggests that this was not the case. At the very least, a court should decide.

However, according to the US authorities, this guard has committed no crime and has no charges to answer before a US court and they steadfastly refuse to extradite him.

Okay, so let me see if I've got this right...

If you violate the copyright of some rich and powerful bodies such as the MPAA and RIAA, even though you've never set foot in the USA, then you *must* be extradited to face some trumped up charges of money laundering.

But...

If you allegedly kill a young person in cold blood then there is no case for extradition.

I'm sorry but for the NZ authorities to become complicit in this astounding level of hypocrisy is a very sad indictment on the level of "toadyism" that seems to be taking place here.

In the Kim Dotcom case we have already seen huge injustices being dealt to the man and we've also seen several of our NZ government agencies become so keen to appease their US masters that they have actually broken the law.

I'm sorry but if was asked to choose the most apt word for this situation I'd call it gangsterism.

I'm no fan of Kim Dotcom but I am a fan of justice, fairness and principles. For that reason I say we should tell the USA to "piss off" with their extradition request -- until such time as they honour the extradition requests of other countries, at least where crimes of violence are involved.

As for Mexico, I'd say to them: let Trump build his wall, at the very least it will help keep your young people safe from idiots with guns and immunity from prosecution on the other side.

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