(TVNZ) – The extradition hearing resumed in Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday (September 24) for Kim Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing website Megaupload, who faces prosecution in the United States over alleged intellectual property rights violations.
The German national and his co-accused – Bram van der Kolk, Mathias Ortmann and Finn Batato – face U.S. criminal charges including online piracy, fraud, racketeering and money laundering over the site, which he ran from New Zealand.
“The respondents were part of a conspiracy. They deliberately attracted copyright infringing material to their websites, they deliberately preserved it, deliberately took steps to profit from that material and made vast sums of money,” said Christine Gordon QC, Prosecutor for the United States.
At one time, Megaupload, which was founded in 2005, accounted for four per cent 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.
The hearing is expected to last several weeks.