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Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom loses extradition appeal

05 July 2018

The New Zealand court of appeal has ruled that Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges, Reuters reported.

The Megaupload founder and his three co-accused - Mathias Ortmann, Bran van der Kolk and Finn Botato - were arrested in 2012 in a dramatic police raid and charged with a series of copyright-related offences on behalf of authorities in the USA over their roles in running the file-sharing website.

Dotcom's lengthy legal battle has previously seen the District and High Courts find against him.

"An extradition hearing is not a trial".

The decision whether to extradite Dotcom now rests with New Zealand's Justice Minister Andrew Little, however Dotcom has indicted he'll apply for leave to appeal Thursday's ruling at New Zealand's Supreme Court.

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom smiles as he takes part in the launch of his new website at a press conference at his mansion in Auckland on January 20, 2013.

This year, Dotcom also tried and failed to have former US President Barack Obama served with a subpoena and forced to give evidence in a New Zealand court over a damages claim for the streaming website.

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Dotcom argued that the outcome of a case before the Human Rights Review Tribunal may be relevant to his extradition case, and the details he requested could be presented as evidence.

While, from the legal point of view, Dotcom's future is looking bleaker and his surrender to the USA is looking more likely, just several months ago Dotcom declared his extradition case was over.

The court's decision, by Justices Kós, French and Miller, was made after the United States relied on a range of extradition pathways.

"The precedent set is concerning and has ramifications in New Zealand outside my case", he said.

German-born Dotcom, who has New Zealand residency, became well known for his lavish lifestyle as much as his computer skills.

He used to post photographs of himself with cars and vanity licence plates such as "GOD" and "GUILTY", shooting an assault rifle and flying around the world in his private jet.

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom loses extradition appeal