Megaupload founder offers to fly to US to face piracy charges
Kim Dotcom has offered to travel to the US of his own volition to face charges over alleged copyright infringements related to the Megaupload cloud storage service he founded.
Under house arrest in Christchurch, New Zealand since February, the German national, who has previously opposed extradition attempts made by US prosecutors, offered terms to the Department of Justice over Twitter.
"Hey DOJ (Department of Justice), we will go to the US. No need for extradition," he wrote. "We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses."
Along with a three other Megaupload employees, Dotcom faces numerous charges, including money laundering, racketeering, fraud and online copyright theft, centring on the claim that the group made $175m since 2005 through the copying and distribution of pirated content. If found guilty, the group members face up to 20 years behind bars.
Last month CloudTech reported that a New Zealand court had discovered legal problems with the warrants used to search his mansion and seize funds and property. The ruling marked a turning point in public opinion, with a number of high profile figures declaring their support for the flamboyant character.
The cloud industry has been keeping a careful eye on the case. Dotcom’s lawyers argue that Megaupload was simply a cloud storage company that enforced copyright regulation, and that it was effectively killed off by the US government because a number of its users flouted piracy rules.
Yesterday an extradition case hearing scheduled for 6 August was delayed until next year by a number of complex legal wrangles.
Obviously frustrated by what he called ‘dirty delay tactics by the US’, Dotcom took to Twitter. “They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest," he wrote.
In an interview with a New Zealand newspaper he claimed that without access to funds, he would not be able to sustain his mounting legal bills. "I have accumulated millions of dollars in legal bills and I haven't been able to pay a single cent," he told the New Zealand Herald on Wednesday. "They just want to hang me out to dry and wait until there is no support left."
"They will never agree to this and that is because they can't win this case and they know that already,” he added.