Dotcom extradition hearing delayed until 2013

The extradition hearing for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has been delayed until 2013.
Written by AAP , Contributor and  Josh Taylor, Contributor

An attempt to extradite Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom from New Zealand to the US has been put off until March next year.

The three-week extradition hearing had been due to start on 6 August in New Zealand.

However, Dotcom's lawyers said that the hearing had been postponed until 25 March.

Megaupload was shut down in January and its founders were arrested in New Zealand. Dotcom claims Megaupload was legitimate and protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but US officials allege that Dotcom encouraged users to upload videos, music and software that infringed copyright, and allowed those users to share that content with others.

The officials estimate that Megaupload has cost Hollywood studios and other copyright owners US$500 million in revenue.

US authorities are trying to extradite Dotcom, 38, and three others, to face racketeering, copyright and money laundering charges. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Last week, prosecutors acting on behalf of the US government appeared in the High Court to appeal a District Court ruling that will grant access to Dotcom and his co-accused to the evidence held against them for the extradition hearing.

Late last month, a High Court ruling declared an armed police raid on Dotcom's Auckland mansion in January as illegal.

Justice Helen Winkelmann said that the search warrants were too broad and police exceeded their powers in seizing what they did.

She also said that it was unlawful for copies of Dotcom's computer files to be taken by US authorities, and New Zealand police should return them to Dotcom.

There is still no word whether Megaupload users will be able to get access to their content that is held on Megaupload's servers. A Virginia court last month deferred making a decision on whether the government should be forced to set up a way for users to reclaim their legitimate data from Megaupload's seized servers.

Wired reported that Dotcom's lawyers are optimistic that a hearing will be called soon on the matter and that it will go in Megaupload's favour.

Editorial standards