Federal prosecutors in the United States have filed papers in New Zealand requesting the extradition of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and three of his partners, who have been charged with criminal copyright infringement and money-laundering on a massive scale. Dotcom and his colleagues are currently under house arrest in New Zealand, with an extradition hearing set for August.
Megaupload, one of the world’s top file-sharing sites for music, movies, games and other pirated files, was shut down by the FBI and the Department of Justice on January 20th. Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty on these charges.
Prosecutors are also seeking extradition for Dotcom’s partners, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, each of whom held senior positions at Megaupload before it was shut down.