A New Zealand court has ruled Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom can be extradited to face criminal charges in the United States The flamboyant Internet entrepreneur is accused of running an illegal piracy empire in file-sharing site Megaupload.
The decision comes five years after U.S. authorities shut down Megaupload and filed charges of conspiracy and money laundering against Dotcom and three of his colleagues.
VICE New Zealand reports that in a ruling released yesterday, Justice Gilbert decided Dotcom and his co-defendants are indeed eligible for extradition. But Dotcom, born as Kim Schmitz in Germany, and who has enjoyed a lavish lifestyle in New Zealand, will continue to fight extradition with a statement from his legal team yesterday saying they will take the case in the Court of Appeal.
"This case is no longer the "largest criminal copyright case", at least as far as New Zealand is concerned. As we have said all along, there is no such offence under our Copyright Act. We were right. However, this afternoon the High Court judgment was issued and, ultimately, although it concluded we are right, the Court concluded that Kim is still eligible for surrender.
"To win the major plank of the case but to get that outcome is extremely disappointing. However, we are far from defeated. It is hard to accept the logic that, if the conduct that all accept at its heart relates to assertions of breach of copyright is not an offence under that Act, how it can nonetheless be massaged into a general fraud offence."
Kim himself says he is losing no sleep over the decision.
In 2013, VICE News was invited to Dotcom's palatial property in New Zealand. You can watch the documentary here.