The US has sent notice to the Polish authorities for the extradition request of Artem Vaulin, the alleged owner of KickassTorrents (KAT). But, Vaulin is still unable to meet his US defence lawyers.
Vaulin, a 30-year-old Ukrainian, was arrested in Poland in July this year and was charged with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.
The US has recently officially requested Poland for Vaulin's extradition. The latest move was confirmed by Vaulin's US counsel Ira Rothken.
Speaking to TorrentFreak Rothken said that the defence team is busy in getting the paperwork translated into the English so that they can respond.
Even though it is more than two months since Vaulin was arrested, he has not been allowed to meet his US defence team, which according to Rothken is a clear due process violation.
"We still have not had an opportunity, nor have we been granted access, to meet with Artem Vaulin in prison in Poland. So we now believe that this has ripened into an international due process problem," said Rothken.
"We believe that Artem's rights are now being impacted with his inability to communicate with US counsel," he added.
Vaulin is, although, allowed to meet Polish lawyers, but that is not enough according to Rothken, as the case basically deals with a US indictment, based on the evidence collected by the country.
"There's no way that there could be a fair trial in the US, or a fair extradition process, without Artem being able to have access to U.S. counsel, to learn his rights, to be able to galvanize the evidence, and to do so in a robust and expedient manner," Rothken tells TF.
This has been affecting the extradition process. Vaulin's defence team has meanwhile explored all the options to have a meeting with him, but their requests has been rejected.
"We have gone through all the hurdles that we could possibly go through with the Polish authorities. Right now there's simply no proper basis for them not to give access, other than the fact that they're involved in procedural gamesmanship," said Rothken.
Having left with no other option, the defence team is now planning to raise the issue in court in future. Rothken noted, "Right now we think the only remedy can be that when you go ahead and interfere with a U.S. defendant having access to his U.S. counsel, the entire case should be dismissed in the interest of justice."
Rothken noted, "Right now we think the only remedy can be that when you go ahead and interfere with a US defendant having access to his US counsel, the entire case should be dismissed in the interest of justice."
Until its closure in July 2016, the KickassTorrents was the most popular torrent site in the world, according to TorrentFreak. The infamous Pirate Bay site was second.