New delay for Megaupload founder's extradition hearing
WELLINGTON - A US bid to extradite Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom from New Zealand for alleged online piracy has been pushed back again, court officials said Tuesday.
The two-week extradition hearing was supposed to start on April 14 but will now begin on July 7, a Courts of New Zealand spokesman said.
No reason was given for the delay but the hearing, originally slated for August 2012 at Auckland's North Shore District Court, has been repeatedly rescheduled amid legal wrangling over evidence disclosure.
US authorities applied to extradite Dotcom after New Zealand police arrested the German national in an armed raid on his Auckland mansion in January 2012.
The US Justice Department and FBI allege Dotcom's Megaupload sites netted more than US$175 million in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners more than US$500 million by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content.
Dotcom denies any wrongdoing and remains free on bail in New Zealand, where he has launched another file-sharing venture called Mega.
He accused US authorities last year of stalling his court appearance because they had a weak case and were content to allow his legal bills to rise in the hope that mounting costs would compromise his defence.
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