Kim Dotcom's lawyers seek dismissal of Megaupload indictment

Latest step in the copyright infringement case

Kim Dotcom's US lawyers have filed an application with the US District Court of Eastern Virginia, seeking a dismissal of a copyright infringement indictment against his company, Megaupload.

Under a US grand jury indictment filed on January 5, Dotcom, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann, and Bram van der Kolk, two other Megaupload employees and two related companies were charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.

A second, superseding indictment filed in the US on February 16, added additional charges of copyright infringement and new charges of wire fraud against the defendants.

Dotcom and three other Megaupload defendants, who are currently on bail in New Zealand pending extradition proceedings, have denied any wrongdoing.

In a legal motion filed yesterday, lawyer Ira Rothken argued that to date, the US government "has not served a summons on any officer or agent of Megaupload".

Furthermore, Rothken argues, it would not be able to serve a summons against the company, even if Dotcom or other Megaupload defendants were extradited to the US.

"Megaupload does not have an office in the United States, nor has it had one previously. Service of a criminal summons on Megaupload is therefore impossible, which forecloses the Government from prosecuting Megaupload."

In a separate filing, Dotcom lawyers are also seeking the release of some of the $US67 million worth of assets, which were seized by the US government in January, to enable the Megaupload defendants to mount a "full and fair" defence.

According to reports, a spokesman for US prosecutors has declined to comment on the court filings, saying the US government will respond in court at a later date.