Not Granting Bail And The Unprecedented Allegations Is Violation Of Human Rights, Says KickassTorrents Defense
Lead counsel Ira Rothken, representing the legal defense team of alleged KickassTorrents (KAT) owner Artem Vaulin says that it will appeal last week’s extradition ruling.
For those unfamiliar, a Polish court last week had granted the extradition of Vaulin to the U.S. to face copyright crime charges. Vaulin was arrested in Poland last year at the request of U.S. prosecutors. They accuse him of rampant copyright infringement in relation to his role running KAT and want him to face charges in an American courtroom.
According to Rothken, the refusal of the Polish court to grant bail and the unprecedented allegations violate the human rights of his client. However, the team is confident that they will be able to get positive outcome on all grounds.
Rothken says that they are planning to appeal the initial verdict of extradition of his client to the U.S., notes TorrentFreak.
Vaulin met Rothken for the first time in Warsaw since he was arrested last summer. This represents a small development, as before last week he was not allowed to meet with his U.S. counsel.
Facing severe back problems, Vaulin was transferred to a hospital in December. Currently, the alleged KickassTorrents owner is still being treated in prison for his back pain. They both spoke in detail while in prison about the advantages of the case as well as potential human rights violations.
“Artem is presumed innocent and the failure to provide him with bail in a novel copyright case on mere torrent files, which is an alleged non-violent crime, violates his human rights,” Rothken says.
“Artem’s incarceration makes it so he can’t meaningfully participate in his defense in a complex Internet copyright case where logically he needs access to the Internet to assist his global legal team.”
KickassTorrents’ defense team is now looking for a positive result in Poland’s appellate court, as well as a win at the European Court of Human Rights.
Based on the unprecedented punishment the alleged KAT owner faces, the Human Rights case will also be a part of it.
The Department of Justice accuses Vaulin and his co-conspirators of operating the largest piracy haven on the Internet, which made millions of dollars per year. As such, they are being held responsible for unlawfully distributing over $1 billion of copyrighted materials. The court also suggests that Vaulin is liable for the criminal infringements of millions of KickassTorrent users.
Each separate offense amounts to several years in prison, bringing the total to a potential sentence of millions of years, which is exceptional and a record even for the U.S., Rothken argues.
In addition to the Human Rights complaint, which is still being drafted, the defense has a motion pending in the U.S. where the defense pressed the Illinois District Court to dismiss the indictment.
In February, Rothken had asked the court to drop the case against Vaulin, as there was no proof of actual criminal copyright infringement. However, the U.S. prosecutor disagreed, describing the KAT site as a piracy haven that made millions of dollars per year.
Earlier, in this week, the prosecution informed the Court about the Polish extradition ruling, but the defense promptly defied that this should not have an influence on the U.S. decision.
“We are hopeful that the United States Court will promptly rule on the pending motion to dismiss the indictment. We believe the indictment is defective and the motion to dismiss will be granted,” Rothken told TorrentFreak.
“We also believe if the indictment is found defective then the US extradition request in Poland based on a defective and thus unreliable indictment should fail as a matter of law,” he adds.