8:46am PT by Eriq Gardner
Kim Dotcom Loses Bid to Halt Extradition Hearing
A judge in New Zealand has told Kim Dotcom that an extradition hearing won't be stopped, according to local media outlets. As a result, a much delayed decision on whether to send Dotcom to the United States to face trial could be coming soon.
The Megaupload founder is being charged by the United States government with criminal copyright infringement and racketeering for his part in a digital enterprise that amassed 180 million users allegedly on the back of pirated movies, TV shows and music. Dotcom has been in New Zealand since he was indicted in January 2012.
In the last few weeks, local authorities have presented some of the evidence that the United States plans to bring against him, but the extradition hearing won't turn on whether or not prosecutors can secure a conviction. There only needs to be a prima facie case. Dotcom can challenge the reliability of the evidence and the inferences drawn. There may also be legal arguments why the extradition isn't proper under international standards.
Dotcom has attempted thus far to argue the proceeding is tainted, that authorities worked at the behest of film studios and conducted illegal spying, unreasonable searches and so forth, but such arguments apparently won't have the effect of further delay.
So, Dotcom's bid to hinder extradition will begin anew in court on Monday as the weeks-old extradition hearing nears a conclusion. On Twitter, Dotcom commented, "I wish you could all be at my court hearing on Monday. It's going to be good. #Popcorn."