Megaupload goes for dismissal in the US

Kim Dotcom’s legal team has asked a Virginia federal court to dismiss the criminal case against him in the US.

According to Torrentfreak, the defence argues that the US violated Megaupload’s due process rights by destroying its business, without having properly served the company.

If the court agrees then the Megaupload case will be over. In January, the US started one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever against Megaupload and its key employees, including founder Kim Dotcom.

The moment it did that it seized domain names, servers and personal belongings, and asked for the extradition of the defendants who were all arrested abroad.

Since then, Kim Dotcom and his colleagues have been fighting against extradition in New Zealand with some success.

The US case is based on the idea that US authorities failed to serve Megaupload as is required in a criminal case. Instead the government put the company out of business and Megaupload’s due process rights have been violated.

To prove this, Megaupload has to show that a liberty or property interest which has been interfered with by the State, and that the procedures attendant upon that deprivation were constitutionally sufficient.

Dotcom’s lawyers say that both prongs of the procedural due process test are met.

The crucial issue in the motion to dismiss is that Megaupload was never served. Megaupload’s lawyer Ira Rothken said that unlike people, companies can’t be served outside US jurisdiction.

If this stops Megaupload from being tried in the US, it would be a major stuff-up for the government, which could find itself sued.