Dotcom vows to fight on after losing another court battle to avoid US extradition, and a possible 20 year jail sentence.
The case dates back to 2012, when authorities staged a spectacular raid on Dotcom’s rented mansion in the Auckland area of New Zealand. The charges are related to Mr Dotcom’s now defunct file-sharing website Megaupload.com, which allowed millions of people to download digital content.
Back in 2015, when Dotcom’s first trial began, the self-proclaimed “Internet Freedom Fighter” tweeted defiant messages to his followers such as “The US Government wants to stop live streaming because they don’t want you to see the giant egg on their faces when they get owned in court.” And of course: “We will win this together. Then we make them pay. Then they will remember. Don’t attack the Internet.”
Kim Dotcom currently stands accused of alleged racketeering, money laundering, and copyright infringement. The US Justice Department claims that Dotcom along with three other men have cost film studios and record companies more than $500m, and generated revenue from piracy in excess of $175,000,000.
The 41-year-old German national, whose real name is Kim Schmitz has thus far relied on expensive lawyers and the argument that US prosecutors are waging war on the Internet, and that his MegaUpload website was essentially just a web based vessel through which illegal traffic flowed, in spite of his admin team’s best efforts…
“We are disappointed with today’s Judgment by the New Zealand Court of Appeal,” Dotcom’s US lawyer, Ira Rothken, said in an statement. “We look forward to seeking review with the New Zealand Supreme Court. We think that ultimately Kim Dotcom will prevail.”
The FBI shut down Dotcom’s Megaupload.com file-sharing website back in January 2012, and New Zealand police raided his Auckland Mansion in the same month. Kim settled in New Zealand via a government visa scheme for wealthy immigrants, and has permanent residency in New Zealand, although possibly not for much longer the way things are going.
Dotcom has also tried to portray himself as an Internet Freedom Fighter, and a victim of unjust and relentless persecution by U.S. law enforcement officials spurred on by Hollywood trade organisations including the MPAA.
If extradited and then found guilty in the US, Dotcom could face up to 20 years in jail.