It was an event that could have turned New Zealand's politics and its upcoming elections upside down. Instead, it was a snoozefest.
With an ensemble cast of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald and Kim Dotcom (of the Megaupload fame), the so-called "Moment of Truth" event took place on Monday night at the Auckland Town Hall. It was a meeting organized by Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who has set to prove to the world that New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key is a liar. Ahead of New Zealand’s polls on Saturday, Dotcom has been on the campaign trail for a political party he founded and poured about $2.5 million into.
The promise: a "big reveal" and solid proof that the Key conspired with Warner Brothers executives in 2010 to lure Dotcom into the country so that he could then be extradited to the U.S.
Hours before the big event, an email – allegedly sent by Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara in 2010 – was also leaked to the media. The email was addressed to a high-ranked official of the Motion Picture Association of America, and the tone clearly indicated that Key was in bed with them over their grievances against Dotcom.
The exact words of the email were: "We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He's a fan and we're getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand is paying off. I see strong support for our anti-piracy effort.
"John Key told me in private that they are granting Dotcom residency despite pushback from officials about his criminal past. His AG will do everything in his power to assist us with our case. VIP treatment and then a one-way ticket to Virginia.
"This is a game changer. The DOJ is against the Hong Kong option. No confidence in the Chinese. Great job."
The content of the email categorically negated Key's claims that he wasn't in on any conspiracy against Dotcom, and that he wasn't even aware of his name until 2012 when the Mega founder was arrested.
Soon after the email was released, Warner Bros dismissed it as fake – something people expected. But onlookers also expected Dotcom and company to provide conclusive evidence against Key or something else substantial enough to impact the country's upcoming elections. He and his merrymen, however, failed to do so. In fact, Dotcom didn't even touch the email in the two-hourlong gathering.
Greenwald did provide some evidence against Key, but again, it was nothing new. He simply rehashed things he already presented in his article earlier in the day. Appearances from notorious whistleblowers Assange and Snowden (via videolink) lit up the event and added some star power to it, but it also proved that the "Moment of Truth" was just a gimmick by Dotcom to boost his party's election campaign.
Dotcom's now-defunct file-sharing site Megaupload.com cost the entertainment industry almost half a billion dollars before it was shut down on court orders. Hence, they are out to get him at all cost.
Dotcom was granted residency in New Zealand in 2010 on the basis of his investments, but was arrested and had his assets seized two years later by the local police on the behest of the FBI. He has since been on the outs with Key and his regime.