New Zealand High Court upholds Kim Dotcom extradition ruling

Kim Dotcom, founder of file-storage and file-sharing companies Mega and Megaupload, has suffered another defeat in court. In the latest ruling, New Zealand High Court judge Murray Gilbert upheld an earlier decision finding that Dotcom and business associates could be extradited to the U.S. to face charges.

The decision is just the latest chapter in a long-running saga following the shutdown and seizure of assets related to file-sharing service Megaupload.

In early 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice cracked down on the site and filed criminal charges against Dotcom, as well as Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk. Dotcom and the co-founders were arrested and their assets seized, and have been fighting extradition ever since.

While the latest legal decision means Dotcom could face charges in the U.S., it is a victory in one sense: As part of the ruling, Justice Gilbert agreed with one of Dotcom’s arguments, namely that New Zealand had no equivalent “copyright” crime that could be used to activate the extradition treaty.

However, the High Court ruled that Dotcom and others could be extradited on U.S. fraud and racketeering charges.

Once again, Dotcom plans to appeal the ruling, which could send the case to the Court of Appeal and perhaps even the New Zealand Supreme Court. In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Dotcom predicted there are still another two years of legal battles ahead.