The extradition hearing of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom is now playing out in an Auckland, New Zealand courtroom. The proceedings, expected to drag on for several weeks, come after more than three and a half years of delays.
New Zealand authorities working with law enforcement from the US raided the home of Dotcom in January 2012 and shut down MegaUpload, the file sharing site he founded in 2005.
Police at the time described the service as an international organized criminal enterprise where copyright infringement ran rampant. All things considered, Dotcom and his associates were said to have earned roughly $175 million from advertising and subscriptions while costing copyright owners more than $500 million in lost revenue.
Dotcom, a polarizing figure whose story regularly tops headlines, has maintained his innocence since the beginning. An avid Call of Duty fan, Dotcom has a number of high-profile supporters that believe prosecutors are taking advantage of loopholes in the legal system to come after him.
Dotcom’s legal team asked Judge Nevin Dawson to postpone the extradition hearing yet again due to the fact that the FBI had seized their client’s funds, thus hampering his ability to mount a defense. The judge ultimately denied the request but added that both parties would have an opportunity to tell their side of the story and an option to appeal would be open should either side not agree with the outcome.
The extradition hearing is expected to resume on Thursday.
Image courtesy Nigel Marple, Reuters