Following an extradition hearing lasting several weeks, in December a New Zealand District Court judge ruled that Kim Dotcom and his colleagues can be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges.
As the former operators of now-defunct file-sharing site Megaupload, Dotcom and colleagues Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk are accused of crimes including copyright infringement, conspiracy, money laundering and racketeering
Following Judge Dawson’s decision, Dotcom immediately announced an appeal.
While it probably suits Dotcom for the process to be as drawn out as possible, United States authorities would like to get their hands on the Megaupload founder sooner rather than later. To that end they appeared in the High Court in Auckland today asking for the appeal to be pushed through as a matter of urgency.
Justice Asher denied the request and scheduled the hearing for August 29. The appeal itself is expected to last several weeks, extending well into October 2016.
This, according to Asher, should allow him to render his decision before Christmas, but even that won’t mark the end of the road. In comments to TF in December, Dotcom explained the stages of the process.
“The appeal route is High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court. If I lose, it goes to a decision by Minister of Justice, then to a High Court judicial review of the Minister’s decision. Then it’s the end of the road,” he told TF.
The legal system moves slowly so it’s likely that Dotcom – whatever the outcome – will still be enjoying the beauty of New Zealand well into 2017.