Kim Dotcom runs out of money to fund legal team


By Neasa MacErlean

28 November 2014 at 07:26 BST


Kim Dotcom, the German-born founder of Megaupload, has begun representing himself, claiming that a battle with the US legal authorities has drained him of resources including the money to pay his legal team.

New Zealand

He was arrested in New Zealand, where he has been living, in 2012 and accused of internet piracy. He retained a local firm in New Zealand to represent him in extradition hearings by the US authorities but they stopped representing him about two weeks ago.

Legal costs of £6.4m

Mr Dotcom says that his lawyers stopped working for him as he had run out of money. He says he has spent £6.4m on legal costs since being arrested. His former lawyers, Simpson Grierson, have not  yet commented. He said: 'The [US authorities] have certainly managed to drain my resources and dehydrate me, and without lawyers I am defenceless.'

Assets across the world

He still has a lawyer in the US, Ira Rothken, who said: 'There are assets frozen across the globe, there are mechanisms in place for getting relief from those frozen assets - we're hopeful that courts across the globe, including in Hong Kong and New Zealand, will do the right thing and release funds to counsel.' Mr Rothken says that this 'is the largest copyright case in the history of the United States and New Zealand'. He said he would be doing the 'best that we can' to help Mr Dotcom have a 'fair playing field'. The US Justice Department says that Megaupload cost TV and other rights-holders over US$500m. Source: BBC

 
   
 
 
 

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