WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The New Zealand Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that internet entrepreneur and Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom could be extradited to the United States to deal with organized crime and criminal charges for copyright. .
The written decision of the court rejected Dotcom's appeal and confirmed a lower court ruling in 2017 that extradition could take place.
The six-year legal saga is widely seen as proof of the extent to which the United States can reach globally to enforce the intellectual property rights of US companies.
U.S. Officials say that Dotcom and three other co-accused Megaupload executives cost film studios and record companies more than $ 500 million and generated more than $ 175 million by encouraging users to pay to store and share material with them. Copyright.
The Court of Appeals said that the United States had disclosed "a clear prima facie case that the appellants conspired to infringe the copyright, intentionally and on a large scale, for their commercial gain."
"A hearing of Extradition is not a test. It is conducted to decide if there is sufficient evidence to accuse a person of a qualifying crime, "the court said in its ruling.
Dotcom's attorney, Ira Rothken, told Reuters by email that his client would appeal the decision in the highest judicial body of the country, the Supreme Court.
"We are anxious to seek a review with the Supreme Court of New Zealand. We believe that ultimately Kim Dotcom will prevail, "said Rothken.
Dotcom's attorneys have argued in previous court cases that copyright infringement is not a crime in New Zealand and that there was insufficient evidence that Dotcom and others Megaupload executives conspired to commit a crime.
Dotcom, born in Germany and living in New Zealand, became famous for his lavish lifestyle as well as his computer skills.
He used to post pictures of himself with cars and vanity plates like "GOD" and "GUILTY", firing an badault rifle and flying around the world in his private jet.
Dozens of black-clad policemen stormed the Dotcom mansion in 2012, he was taken from a secure room and confiscated millions of dollars in cash and property, including a fleet of luxury cars, computers and works of art.
Charlotte Information Greenfield and Leika Kihara; Edition of Darren Schuettler