Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom talks to members of the media outside the New Zealand Court of Appeals in Wellington September 20, 2012. ― Reuters picWELLINGTON, March 21 — A New Zealand court rejected today internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom’s application for former US President Barack Obama to appear in court in relation to a damages claim over his defunct Megaupload streaming website.
German-born Dotcom, who is wanted by US law enforcement authorities on copyright and money-laundering allegations related to Megaupload, has said the US prosecution was “politically motivated” because the Obama administration was under pressure from Hollywood for stricter copyright enforcement.
Megaupload was shut down in 2012, while Obama was president, after an FBI-ordered raid on Dotcom’s Auckland mansion. He was indicted the same year along with fellow Megaupload executives.
Dotcom and several other New Zealand-based defendants have denied the allegations.
In a separate case, Dotcom filed claims for damages of roughly US$10 billion in December against US and New Zealand authorities “for the destruction of Megaupload” and the constraints on his liberty for more than seven years.
The High Court dismissed Dotcom’s application to issue a subpoena for Obama in this case, saying it was “premature” and that Dotcom’s “opinion that Mr Obama’s evidence will be relevant to the present claims appears at best speculative”.
Dotcom said on Twitter: “I am disappointed of course because I believe my affidavit contains compelling evidence of the link between the Obama administration, Hollywood, and my extradition proceeding.”
“However, after seven years of this, I am used to fighting to get to the truth and will keep fighting. Next round!”