updated 11:57 pm EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
Questionable legality of warrants, evidence cited for delay
The pending extradition hearing for MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has been postponed to next year. The hearing, which was originally scheduled to take place on August 6 was delayed by a New Zealand judge until March 2013. Two pending judicial reviews on the search warrants used by police, and the questionable legality of handoff to evidence to the FBI and subsequent transfer to the United States forced the delay in proceedings.
Dotcom was arrested at his Auckland, New Zealand mansion after the US orchestrated a raid based on criminal copyright violations and racketeering of the file storage locker that allegedly netted Dotcom and his cohorts $175 million. The legality of the evidence seized was questioned last month in court, when a judge ruled that the warrants didn't describe the offenses alleged and were illegal.
The raid and evidence search that started the shutdown of Megaupload took place on January 19, effectively closing Megaupload permanently. Dotcom and company co-founders were arrested on January 20, after a raid at a Carpathia server farm in Dulles, VA.
Megaupload lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss all US government charges for violating due process rights in not properly serving the international company outside of US jurisdiction. The FBI and Department of Justice are seeking Dotcom's extradition to face criminal conspiracy and copyright violation charges in the United States, but the federal judge assigned to the case suspects that the trial in the US may not happen for a variety of procedural reasons.