U.S. authorities have taken the next step in their effort to bring MegaUpload founder and accused copyright infringer Kim Dotcom to justice, filing an official extradition request with a New Zealand court this weekend.
PCWorld reported that the official extradition request for Dotcom was received by Auckland’s North Shore District Court on Friday.
Dotcom was granted conditional release on February 22 following nearly one month in a New Zealand jail cell. Per a judge’s orders, the accused piracy mastermind must remain offline and within 80km of his home.
Acting with the support of the U.S. Justice Department and FBI, a New Zealand task force comprised of local police and counter-terrorism agents raided Dotcom’s multimillion dollar Coatesville mansion on January 20. The 37-year-old Dotcom was apprehended, with authorities later seizing millions of dollars worth of property and assets. Three MegaUpload associates – Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk – were detained and appeared alongside their boss in court.
Dotcom described the raid as “like a warzone” and promised to fight extradition tooth and nail, asserting that the U.S. government’s actions were politically-motivated. During an interview last week, Dotcom snubbed the case against him as “fabrications and lies.”
A hearing to determine whether or not Dotcom will be extradited to the U.S. is scheduled for August.