A New Zealand court has ruled that Kim Dotcom, founder of closed-down file-sharing site Megaupload, can be extradited to the United States to face online piracy charges.
After a nine-week hearing, Judge Nevin Dawson found there was “overwhelming” evidence to support extradition.
The decision comes almost four years after NZ police raided Dotcom’s mansion at the request of US authorities and shut down Megaupload.
New Zealand Justice Minister Amy Adams will have to approve any extradition, but confirmed that she will wait to see if the ruling was appealed. Dotcom had previously indicated he would appeal any such decision.
US authorities allege that Megaupload file-sharing site netted $242 million in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners at least $691 million by offering pirated content. Dotcom contended that Megaupload was a genuine file-sharing site which did its best to police copyright infringement.
If extradited and found guilty by a US court, he faces up to 20 years in jail.