Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has lost the latest round in his long-running battle to avoid extradition to the U.S. and will now take his case to New Zealand’s highest court.
The Court of Appeal said Thursday that Dotcom and three co-accused had failed in their attempt to overturn a High Court decision that they were eligible for surrender to the U.S., according to a judgment posted on the Court website. Dotcom will challenge Thursday’s decision.
“We are disappointed with today’s judgment,” Dotcom’s lawyer Ira Rothken said in a tweet. “We will seek review with the N.Z. Supreme Court.”
The U.S. is seeking Dotcom’s extradition from New Zealand over his now defunct file-sharing website Megaupload.com, which is alleged to have been the vehicle for the biggest copyright infringement in U.S. history. Today’s court ruling comes six-and-a-half years after a dawn raid on the flamboyant German millionaire’s Auckland mansion by armed police, who were acting on information from the FBI.
Prosecutors allege that Megaupload, which once accounted for 4% of all internet traffic, generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds from the exchange of pirated films, music and files. Dotcom and his co-accused have always maintained their innocence.
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the U.S. has a range of extradition options, for which the country has tendered sufficient evidence to support, according to a summary of the judgment provided by the court.
“With the court upholding the appellants’ eligibility for extradition, the final decision as to whether the appellants should be extradited rests with the minister of justice,” it said.