Megaupload Creator Dotcom Can Be Extradited To U.S., New Zealand Court Rules

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the U.S. where he faces charges of money laundering, copyright infringement and racketeering, a New Zealand court has ruled, the BBC reported. Dotcom said he will appeal the ruling.

Doctom founded Megaupload, a now-defunct website, which allowed millions of people to download songs and movies. The website cost record firms and film studios more than $500 million (£322m).

Dotcom claims he is not responsible for the copyright infringement.

Three other men who co-founded the site and face similar charges have also been ruled as eligible for extradition.

Dotcom In New Zealand Since 2010

Born Kim Schmitz, the 39-year-old Dotcom has been living in New Zealand since 2010 after being granted residency in that country. He launched the file-sharing site in Hong Kong in 2005.

U.S. authorities shuttered the site in January 2012 and charged Dotcom with money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement.

The U.S. government began extradition proceedings and New Zealand police raided Dotcom’s home at the FBI’s request.

Extradition hearings began in September of 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Judge Nevin Dawson said the U.S. has a lot of evidence supporting its case, and the defendants fell short of undermining the case, according to Stuff.

Also read: Kim Dotcom talks about Meganet, his blockchain-based P2P Internet

Dotcom To Continue His Fight

Dotcom thanked supporters on Twitter and noted he will continue his fight. Ira Rothken, a member of Dotcom’s legal team, tweeted that the team looks forward to having the extradition request reviewed by the High Court. He said justice has not been served.

Dotcom told The New Zealand Herald that he plans to sue the Hong Kong justice department for more than $2 billion for shuttering his site. A Hong Kong court earlier this month allowed him to access some frozen assets.

Dotcom said he can retaliate in Hong Kong against those who destroyed what he built. He also said he can indirectly sue the U.S. government by suing the Hong Kong Department of Justice.

Featured image from Wikimedia.

Lester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.