Could a historical speeding conviction see Kim Dotcom kicked out of New Zealand if the case to extradite him to the United States fails? That’s the situation faced by the Megaupload founder, as an investigation into how he became a resident in the country after not declaring a traffic offense turns two-and-a-half years old.
Many of the Megaupload founder’s online videos feature a combination of these things but the latter could yet prove a serious problem for the entrepreneur.
It began on September 10, 2009 when a police radar gun logged Dotcom doing 149km/h (92mph) in a 50km/h (30mph) zone in New Zealand. Dotcom, who was reportedly driving a 3.6-liter AMG Mercedes, was chased by police who eventually caught him about a mile later near to the Coatesville mansion he used to call home.
Dotcom described his driving as a “stupid mistake” and pleaded guilty four days later by letter. He said that he had been testing a new car and had got a bit carried away.
“When spoken to by police the defendant stated he had seen an 80km/h sign. He further stated that he stepped on the gas for 3-4 seconds and then braked and reduced his speed to the speed limit. He also stated he wanted to test the acceleration of the vehicle,” police records state.
Dotcom was fined $500 plus $130 costs and banned from driving for six months but there were to be greater complications. Dotcom failed to declare the motoring conviction on his New Zealand residency application, which he completed eight months after the offense.
In the blurred image below previously released under the Official Information Act, item three shows a ‘No’ response to the question “Have you or any of your family members included in your application, ever been: Convicted of an offense including traffic offenses committed within the last five years, involving dangerous driving [or] driving having consumed excessive alcohol.”
Somewhat bizarrely, however, more than two years later and the case is still ongoing. According to the NZHerald, the case is now in its 29th month and is set to be the “longest, most drawn out investigation of its type.”
As always in matters involving Dotcom, the entrepreneur believes there is a conspiracy bubbling away in the background. He’s describing the inquiry into his non-disclosure as “Plan B” to get him out of the country, a simple deportation if the attempted extradition to the United States (Plan A) fails.
“It is a back and forth with [Immigration New Zealand]. They ask questions, we answer. We asked them what their determination is and they came back with more questions,” Dotcom says.
“I guess they are slow playing this so that they can time their decision according to the final appeal decision in the extradition matter.”
Of course, Dotcom says he’s preparing for a fight if things get out of hand. He’s promising “years of court battles” if a decision is taken to deport him, adding that his team is “confident” it will prevail. At this stage, no one would expect anything less.
The drama over this speeding conviction represents another episode in an amazing few years for Dotcom, a wild story that isn’t over yet. His life to date will soon be available on the silver screen in the movie Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, but it’s clear that this will have to be a two-parter, if it’s to recount the full tale.