Kim Dotcom Loses New Zealand Extradition Appeal

Advertisement
Advertisement

Kim Dotcom may face extradition from New Zealand to the U.S. following a failed appeal this week which sought to prevent that. The extradition proceedings were centered around a case that started back in 2015, stemming from accusations of copyright infringement and fraud reaching back to 2005. Specifically, Doctcom – who was born Kim Schmitz – faces accusations associated with wire fraud, copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit racketeering, and money laundering. Earlier cases were won by Dotcom on the basis there are no laws in New Zealand which allow for extradition over charges of copyright infringement, which in this case amount to a claimed $500 million in damages. However, those legal protections don't appear to extend to crimes involving allegations of fraud committed via technology. Having maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, Dotcom says that he will seek to appeal the new decision in a higher court.

The appeal is reportedly the final legal step that can be taken by Dotcom and his three alleged co-conspirators before they much face extradition or attempt to leave New Zealand. Mattias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batato also held high positions at the website said to be involved in the crimes. Megaupload was built around the concept of allowing users to upload and share files. However, it was shut down by the U.S. government back in 2012, pending an investigation into suspected illegal activities. The company also made a substantial amount of money from the web platform while a relatively large portion of the files uploaded appears to have contained pirated materials. More directly, paying a subscription allowed users a larger upload and file-size limit which enabled the sharing of such content.

Between those charges and subsequent appeals, Kim Dotcom and his alleged cohorts have remained largely out of the headlines with a few minor exceptions. Dotcom recently took to Twitter to seek help in building out a more private and free social media network. That solution was meant to be an alternative to what Dotcom calls the "deep state social media." No further news has come forward about that project proposal since the tweet was published. Given the seriousness of Dotcom's current situation, there's a good chance that will remain the case for the foreseeable future.

Advertisement