20 December 2018Copyright

NZ Supreme Court to hear Kim Dotcom’s extradition appeal

The Supreme Court of New Zealand has agreed to hear Kim Dotcom’s appeal against earling rulings which found that the Megaupload creator can be extradited to the US to face copyright charges.

Today, December 20, New Zealand’s highest court found that it has jurisdiction to hear Dotcom’s appeal, following a hearing which took place on December 5.

Dotcom, the German internet entrepreneur known for founding file-sharing service Megaupload, has been battling extradition attempts since Megaupload was shut down by the US Department of Justice in 2012.

In the US, he faces charges of criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud.

Megaupload reportedly committed online piracy on a large scale, generating more than $175 million in revenue, US authorities have claimed.

In 2017, the High Court said that Dotcom is eligible for extradition because conspiracy to commit copyright infringement amounts to a conspiracy to defraud—an extradition offence.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision earlier this year.

New Zealand’s highest court has now agreed to hear Dotcom’s appeal.

“Given the significance of extradition, there is no reason to suppose that the parliamentary purpose was to exclude a right of appeal to this court,” the Supreme Court said.

On Twitter, Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken, said: “We are pleased that the New Zealand Supreme Court granted review of the US extradition case against Kim Dotcom. We believe that the court will find that cloud storage providers cannot be held criminally liable for user copyright infringements under NZ law.”

Meanwhile, Dotcom tweeted that those responsible for the “unlawful destruction” of his business will be “held accountable”.

In related developments, in March, the Human Rights Review Tribunal in Wellington found that Dotcom’s privacy had been interfered with and that multiple government departments had failed to provide the information they held on Dotcom at his request.

The tribunal awarded Dotcom damages of NZ$60,000 (US$39,524) for loss of dignity and NZ$30,000 (US$19,762) by way of compensation, with New Zealand’s attorney general filing an appeal against the ruling.

In October, the High Court upheld the appeal and overturned the finding of the tribunal.

This story was  first published on TBO.

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More on this story

20 February 2017   Kim Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing website Megaupload, can be legally extradited to the US, according to New Zealand’s High Court.
5 July 2018   Kim Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing website Megaupload, can be legally extradited to the US, the New Zealand Court of Appeal ruled today.