Judge rules Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the US

Colourful internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the US to face criminal copyright charges, a New Zealand judge ruled. Dotcom’s lawyers said they will appeal against the decision. Judge Nevin Dawson’s ruling came nearly four years after US authorities shut down Dotcom’s file-sharing website Megaupload, which was once one of the internet’s most popular sites. Prosecutors say it raked in at least $173 million, mainly from people using it to illegally download movies.

Thank you for your support. The fight goes on. Enjoy the holidays. I’m happy to be with my kids. There are bigger things than copyright.

Kim Dotcom on Twitter

The US has charged the men with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. If found guilty, they could face decades in jail. Judge Dawson presided over a nine-week extradition hearing in which lawyers outlined the case against the four men. As well as Dotcom, who founded Megaupload and was its majority shareholder, the US is also seeking to extradite former Megaupload officers Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato. The men remained free on bail after the ruling pending their appeals. Before the ruling, Dotcom wrote on Twitter: “This is my weirdest Xmas ever.”

The overwhelming preponderance of evidence … establishes a prima facie case to answer for all respondents on each of the counts.

Judge Nevin Dawson