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Kim Dotcom May Face Extradition To The U.S. Over Alleged Internet Piracy

The eccentric tech guru is expected to appeal.

20/02/2017 2:40 PM AEDT | Updated 20/02/2017 3:14 PM AEDT
Nigel Marple / Reuters
Tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom plans to fight the ruling.

Alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom could face extradition to the United States after a New Zealand court threw out an appeal against the move.

The High Court on Monday upheld an earlier decision there was enough evidence to extradite Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, to the U.S. on racketeering and criminal copyright charges.

Monday's decision was a response to an appeal by Dotcom and his associates against an earlier district court ruling that they should be surrendered to the US, Stuff.co.nz reported.

"Whether Kim has committed an offence under New Zealand copyright law has finally now been answered in his favour; he has not," his lawyers said in a statement after Monday's decision became public.

"Whether our law should still permit him to be extradited to the United States under an Act that has no interest in copyright, is the question that remains now to be answered by our Courts. We say no and we are confident that this must be right."

The U.S. claims the German tech entrepreneur, along with three associates, were part of a worldwide criminal organisation which engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.

The operation allegedly cost copyright holders more than US$500 million.

Monday's ruling follows an earlier case in 2015 which ruled Dotcom and his associates could be extradited to the U.S., TVNZ reports.

Dotcom and his lawyers appealed, and have reportedly said they will appeal the latest decision.

Established in 2005, Megaupload was shut down by federal authorities in January 2012 following a long-term investigation into piracy claims made against the file-sharing service.



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