Kim Dotcom already has a legal defence within New Zealand and in the US, but it now looks like law firms around the world are signing up to help him. The latest sign up is Amsterdam and Partners from London and Ichay and Mullenex from Paris, both of whom are happy to work for free – at least until Dotcom gets his millions back.
Both of these firms have pledged to help out the US arm of Dotcom’s defence, the Rothken Law Firm, which has been combating the Megaupload founder’s extradition from New Zealand for the past six months+.
The announcement for this new partnership came as part of a meeting in London on Tuesday, which Dotcom attended via a giant projection. During the meeting TechWeek suggests that the law firms spent a lot of time bashing the US for ignoring the rule of law and in some instances, violating human rights – something the country is often keen to point out others for infringing upon.
“We are living in an era of unsurpassed extra-legality,” said founder of Amsterdam and Partners, Robert Amsterdam. “We are in what legal theoreticians would call a ‘permanent emergency’. Since 9/11, laws are being made at a record pace, and they are destroying what’s left of our rights.”
“We have watched the US promote its cultural industries through overbroad copyright enforcement and argue this precedent [Megaupload] stifle their own speech,” he added.
Both firms pointed out the fact that the New Zealand government has used invalid warrants to arrest Dotcom and purportedly utilised illegal surveillance of Dotcom and his staff before obtaining permission to do so from the government.
With Dotcom’s extradition trial still not expected to take place until August this year, there’s plenty of time for these firms to rack up future fees. Of course Dotcom needs legal muscle in instances like this, but it does smack of profiteering on behalf of these firms. It’s all well and good working for free, but it’s not really free if you expect to be paid later. When a man is worth over a hundred million and it seems likely that he’s largely innocent of his crimes, chances are you’re getting a big pay cheque down the road.