Saturdays NZ Herald editorial (Read full article) made us speechless. It put totally different “crimes” in the same extradition pot. Cairns charged with perjury in the UK is called “brave” for going back to London to face the charges as if he had any choice. In the other category Kim Dotcom finds himself lumped together with a peadophile priest who is also fighting extradition.
The editor obviously does not or does not want to understand a few fundamental differences between these cases, which make the call for Dotcom to do the “honourable thing in law” quite ridiculous.
Let me tell you as a former lawyer that there is no such thing as “honourable in law”. It is either legal or not.
The main point however is that perjury and sexual offending are long established serious crimes and the UK and Australia have a non-political judiciary and the principle of fair trial.
In Dotcom’s case copyright violation is not even an extraditable offence and the US prosecutors had to tag on the spurious charge of money laundering to get extradition proceedings going. You thought and had legal advice that you had a legitimate business and invested its profits. Years later after unprecedented criminal proceedings – normally these cases are dealt with in civil law suits – you find that your business model broke copyright law and all of a sudden you also committed money laundering rules by investing the profits.
Secondly from the day of the raid on his mansion it has become clear that in the US Dotcom cannot expect a fair trial by an independent non-political judiciary. Unlike Mr Cairns Dotcom would not get bail in the US and the means to defend himself. He would simmer in jail on a thin mattress till he is done and accepts a plea-bargain. That is what is called justice in the US. If Dotcom would be my client I would also advise to take his chance with the NZ justice system rather than the US.
The Herald editorial is just another extension of government spin to malign a NZ resident now called “a guest” who invites “the likes” of Assange, Snowdon and Greenwald for voting advise. We followed their appearances closely and did not get any voting advice just journalists, lawyers and a whistleblower telling us things our government doesn’t want us to know.
Who is John Key’s little henchman in the Herald’s editorial office then?
Something spotted in Facebook:
“In the last week of the NZ election campaign 40 armed police and 2 helicopters descended on John Key’s mansion on behalf of an US rapper for copyright infringement”