A US bid to extradite Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom from New Zealand for
alleged online piracy has been delayed until at least November, court
officials said Monday.
The extradition case, launched after Dotcom was
arrested in an armed raid on his Auckland mansion in January 2012, has
been repeatedly rescheduled amid legal wrangling over evidence
A spokeswoman for Auckland's North Shore District
Court said the extradition would no longer be heard in August as
planned, but had been pushed back to November 21.
She said a
back-up date of April 14, 2014 has also been reserved in case there were
more delays in the case, which had become increasingly complex amid
numerous legal hearings and challenges since Dotcom's arrest.
US Justice Department and FBI allege Dotcom's Megaupload sites netted
more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners
more than $500 million by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows
and other content.
The Megaupload empire, which at its peak had 50
million daily visitors and accounted for four percent of all Internet
traffic, was shut down after the raid, although Dotcom has since
launched a similar service called Mega.
He remains free on bail in
New Zealand and denies the US charges of racketeering, fraud, money
laundering and copyright theft, which could see him jailed for up to 20
years if convicted.
The German national has scored a number of
legal victories in his case, including a ruling that the raid on his
mansion was unlawful and an admission that New Zealand's intelligence
agency illegally spied on him before his arrest.
The High Court
last month ordered police to return any digital material seized in the
raid that was not directly related to the prosecution case.
is also fighting a separate case in the Supreme Court to force police
to hand over all the evidence they hold against him, arguing he cannot
mount an effective defence against extradition without it.