5 Mar 2012

Extradition papers lodged for Dotcom

3:10 pm on 5 March 2012

The United States government has formally lodged papers requesting the extradition of Kim Dotcom from New Zealand.

The co-founder of the Megaupload file sharing site was arrested in Auckland on 20 January this year.

The 38-year-old German national who has New Zealand residency, faces a number of charges, including internet piracy, copyright infringement and wire fraud.

Mr Dotcom and co-accused, Megaupload co-founder Mathias Ortmann, 40, Finn Batato, 38, both from Germany, and Dutch national Bram van der Kolk, 29, are on bail at separate addresses in Auckland.

Anne Toohey, a New Zealand lawyer representing the US government, says extradition papers were lodged at North Shore District Court in Auckland on Friday.

They are now being viewed by defence lawyers and the judge before they discuss the extradition process next week.

A three-week hearing is planned for August.

Although the US and New Zealand have an extradition treaty, New Zealand courts can refuse to hand the men over.

Megaupload was indicted in a federal court in Alexandria in the US state of Virginia, on 19 January and the site was then shut down.