The following edit contains footage of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom who is fighting extradition to the U.S. and is set to attend a hearing in New Zealand.
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND (FILE – JANUARY 20, 2012)(TVNZ) – An extradition hearing is due to begin in New Zealand on Monday (September 21) for Kim Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing website Megaupload, who faces prosecution in the United States over alleged intellectual property rights violations.
The hearing will be held in Auckland and is expected to continue for several weeks.
In a case which has attracted huge international interest, the German national faces U.S. criminal charges including online piracy, fraud, racketeering and money laundering over the site, which he ran from New Zealand.
At one time, Megaupload, which was founded in 2005, accounted for 4 percent of total internet traffic, exchanging files ranging from Hollywood films to wedding videos. Dotcom, now aged 41, was arrested in 2012 as a result of U.S. court action and is accused of massive copyright infringement.
Originally known as Kim Schmitz, Dotcom has denied the charges against him. He told a U.S. federal appeals court in July that he believed the seizure of millions of dollars of assets tied to the defunct site was unconstitutional.
Dotcom, the New Zealand resident who once flaunted a fleet of vintage cars, a fully staffed rented mansion and globe-trotting holidays, said that his wealth had evaporated due to mounting legal fees which had resulted in the departure of most of his legal team.