Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has suffered a major setback in New Zealand´s court, given the fact that the nation´s high court Judge Murray Gilbert upheld an earlier decision finding that he and his business associates can now be extradited to the U.S. to face 13 charges, including money laundering, wire fraud, allegations of conspiracy to commit racketeering and copyright breaches.
Kim Dotcom Might Face 20 Years In Prison
This decision represents the latest chapter of a long-running history following the shutdown and seizure of assets related to Kim Dotcom´s file-sharing service company. In fact, it is believed that he will serve 20 years in prison if convicted in the U.S. of piracy, which the authorities claimed that costs copyright hundreds of millions of dollars.
Back in 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice arrested Kim Dotcom in a dramatic police raid on his mansion near Auckland, after the FBI managed to shutdown Megaupload´s servers and filed criminal charges against him, as well as Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batato. Since that moment, Dotcom and the rest of Megaupload´s co-founders have been fighting extradition, claiming that the company was a genuine sharing site and did its biggest effort to police any kind of copyright infringement, but had more than 45 million daily users and couldn't control every detail of their activity.
New Zealand Doesn´t Have An Equivalent To Copyright Crime
While Kim Dotcom has denied any wrongdoing and has even accused the U.S. authorities of pursuing a vendetta against him, the FBI alleged that his company netted more than $175 million in criminal proceeds, and even cost copyright owners more than $500 million by offering pirated content.
Although New Zealand´s legal decision means that Kim Dotcom might face charges in the U.S., many analysts believe that this could actually mean a small victory for him, given the fact that the judge´s ruling agreed with one of his arguments-that this country doesn't have an equivalent copyright crime that could be use on the extradition treaty. Nevertheless, the fraud and racketeering charges were ruled by the High Court, and these crimes could legally be use to get Dotcom extradited.