Kim Dotcom recently was struck by a personal tragedy when his friend and companion Finn Batato died. The next sad news is that Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Bram van der Kolk have pleaded guilty to the Megaupload case. Megaupload, a file-sharing site that was founded in New Zealand over ten years ago was shut down by American authorities. The four individuals responsible were arrested.
Mathias Ortmann and Finn Batato, who were recently diagnosed with cancer, had fought for many years to avoid extradition. However, Kim Dotcom has decided to continue the fight and will not be stopped. In exchange for being extradited to the United States, Ortmann and van der Kolk agreed to be tried in New Zealand. The details of the deal were not yet known. However, they are now known (via TorrentFreak).
It’s not surprising
It’s not surprising that they pleaded guilty, even though those who were familiar with the case knew otherwise. They confessed to being part of an organized crime team and working with Kim Dotcom and other people to host Megaupload copyright violations for financial gain.
Ortmann was the larger fish because he claimed he had a 25% stake in Megaupload and made $19 million from Megaupload. Van der Kolk had a 2.5% interest which is approximately three million dollars. According to the factual statement, “The formation and growth Megaupload was possible because of the technical knowledge of the defendants.”
Although Mr. Dotcom set the policy and direction, he was unable to execute his wishes. “He relied on Megaupload’s technical infrastructure to operate, and without their participation the crimes would have been impossible,” Ortmann and van der Kolk were convicted based on their confessions.
The verdict will be announced in October. They are still being held on bail. Ortmann claims that the two want to end Megaupload. “We’ve created a new cloud storage company (which is Mega), so it’s no point dwelling on this process any longer. Kim Dotcom is not happy.” He claimed that the two had stolen from him and that they created backdoors for the Chinese government. Mega has been the victim of multiple attacks in recent months, according to current reports.