Papers were filed in New Zealand by United States federal prosecutors, seeking the extradition of Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload, and three of his associates. New Zealand justice officials told the Washington Post that the papers were filed Friday in Auckland's North Shore District Court, which is not releasing the papers at this time.
This is just the latest twist in the long-running story of Kim Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz in Germany, who remains under house arrest in Auckland, New Zealand. His colleagues, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, who each held senior positions at Megaupload under Kim Dotcom, are also under house arrest and are being sought for extradition as well. The extradition hearing has been scheduled for August.
The men are being accused by U.S. prosecutors of breaching copyright through the facilitation of millions of illegal downloads through Megaupload. Among the numerous offenses they are being accused of is racketeering, which the Washington Post points out carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Dotcom says that U.S. authorities are selecting evidence, including email messages, in a way that is "misleading and malicious." He claims that there were employees at Megaupload whose job it was to take down infringing material, but U.S. authorities say that the company only deleted invidual links without removing the actual pirated content.