In the event that the Supreme Court upholds the lower court ruling on Kim Dotcom’s extradition, the scalding hot potato lands in the lap of New Zealand’s political leaders. In weighing next steps on this matter, I would urge them to take into account the state of the Trump administration in general, and the conduct of the Department of Justice in particular.
However distasteful one may find Dotcom as a person (very, in my case), this ought to have no bearing on the broader question: should the Government actively co-operate with the Trump administration by handing over legal residents to face untested charges in what looks more and more like a vendetta, and less than ever a genuine effort to tackle piracy or protect intellectual property?
According to Dotcom, the prosecution has nothing to do with Trump. In fact Dotcom is a huge Trump fan. Dotcom says it was Obama and Biden behind it.
Calling the charges untested is a red herring. All charges are untested. That is why extradition is sought – so they can be tested in court.
In the Megaupload case, its strategy is transparently to bully its way to a plea deal with defendants dragged from home and family, and deprived of a proper defence. There’s no interest in a fair go; only total victory.
These are Trump values, not ours. New Zealand must not play along.
Trump just happens to be the current President. The charges and extradition request occurred under the previous President. Dotcom is again a huge fan of Trump, so arguing he should not be extradited because Trump is now President seems counter-intuitive to me.