MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has agreed to voluntarily travel to the US to face piracy charges, but only if the Justice Department agrees to unfreeze his assets to help him cover living expenses and pay for legal representation. Dotcom announced the proposal on his Twitter account yesterday.
The statement by Dotcom was delivered only a day after a New Zealand court postponed his extradition hearing due to questions about the legality of evidence that was collected during a January raid on his mansion. Last month, a New Zealand judge ruled that evidence confiscated during the raid could be called into question because the warrants were invalid. The extradition hearing has been rescheduled to next year.
After the hearing was postponed, Dotcom told The Hollywood Reporter that the Justice Department’s actions clearly demonstrate that they don’t have a case against him. He says that the whole ordeal was about killing MegaUpload and causing other file hosting sites to panic – something that Dotcom says they achieved.
US officials claim that Dotcom and six other associates encouraged users to store pirated content on MegaUpload and share it with other members of the site. They say he is responsible for over $500 million in losses to all six major Hollywood studios and multiple record labels. Dotcom says that the service was completely legitimate and was protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The Justice Department declined to comment on the situation, instead saying that they will leave their comments to the court filing.