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The Court of Appeals has thrown out an attempt by Kim Dotcom to overturn a lower-court decision that he be available for extradition to the USA on charges of copyright infringement, fraud and such.
To be fair, the grounds on which they were arguing against the extradition were pretty tenuous at best... attempting to argue that intellectual property in digital form did not qualify as an "object" in the eyes of the law. Whilst they may have gotten away with such a suggestion a couple of decades ago, in 2018, that just won't wash.
This leaves Kim and his team with just one option... appeal to the Supreme Court.
However, I have a feeling they'll be shirt out of luck.
The Supreme Court is apparently quite picky about what cases it will hear and given that all the lower courts have ruled in the same way, I'd say that the odds of Kim actually appearing within its walls are pretty slim.
But that's the way justice works right?
All the USA has to do in order to extradite someone is prove that they have sufficient evidence to take someone to trial on charges that represent a crime both in that country and the country from where the accused is domiciled.
It would appear that the USA has met this threshold, hence the rulings of the courts which have heard the case to date.
But let's just take a moment to draw the fine distinction between "justice" and "law".
According to the government, we have a "justice system" and this system includes the courts. Hell, we even have a Minister of Justice in the form of Andrew Little. From this, one must draw the obvious conclusion that "the law" is simply a part of, but not all of, our "justice system".
Surely therefore, justice trumps law?
Indeed, there is specific provision within the framework by which the law is administered to allow for justice to prevail over law.
Right from the start, police have a measure of discretion as to whether they bring prosecution when a law is broken, or whether (when it is felt to be more "just") to simply give an offender a warning. Justice trumps law!
Even when a matter is escalated to the courts, a judge always has the option of entering a conviction without penalty or passing a suspended sentence -- if doing so would be more just than simply metering out the standard fine or prison sentence.
So let's look at Kim Dotcom's case and the issue of justice.
Legally speaking, it appears that he qualifies for exemption -- that's what the courts have ruled and it's pretty hard to dispute that.
However, from the perspective of justice, we need to look very closely at how KD has been treated by authorities in this country.
In most arenas... if you are caught cheating, you are disqualified.
Jump the start of a race and you forfeit your place at the finishing line.
Cheat at poker and you get thrown out of the tournament.
Get caught taking performance enhancing drugs and you get kicked out of your sport.
So, given that NZ authorities have been caught cheating on several occasions in their war against KD, surely it would be "just" for them to forfeit the right decide whether he should be extradited or not.
The GCSB/SIS spied on KD in breach of very strict and clear laws preventing such activities.
The police swooped on KD's mansion and held him at gunpoint in an action that has been clearly labeled as "unlawful" by the courts.
Huge amounts of his property have been seized and unlawfully handed over to the FBI by police in actions that were later deemed to be "unlawful".
I'm sorry but cheats ought not prosper and the agencies of the NZ government have cheated so often in this case that the extradition of KD should not even be something we contemplate.
Previously I've bitched about the fact that these agencies are free to break with impunity, the very laws that are created to protect citizens and residents from their excesses. Surely there has to be some consequences for such arrogance towards the law -- so let's simply throw out the extradition case on the basis that KD has already been victimised enough by NZ's "justice system" and therefore, to continue this persecution would fall outside the definition of the word "justice".
I don't care if KD is as guilty as sin -- he does not deserve to be treated the way he has been by so many agencies of the state and it is only just that his compensation for such treatment be the striking out of the extradition order.
If this isn't done then I would demand that, under the provisions of the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA), the government stop using the word "justice" in respect to what is essentially a legal system that generates no incentive against cheating and unlawful actions on the part of the state.
Oh, that's right... I forgot... the government specifically excludes itself from the provisions of the CGA. One set of rules for the government, another set for everyone else.
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