MegaUpload extradition hearing 'likely' delayed to July

New Zealand prosecutors say the hearing to determine whether MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom can be extradited to the United States may get postponed four months.

The property that Kim DotCom leases in New Zealand. DotCom was in court today asking for more funds to be released so he can continue to pay his living expenses. France Komoroske

From the start, the MegaUpload case promised to be one of those long-running courtroom fights -- and that's exactly what it is turning into.

Anne Toohey, a lawyer working for the commissioner of police in New Zealand, said in court today that there is a "high likelihood" that the extradition hearing to determine whether MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom and several other company managers can be extradited to the United States will be delayed until July, according to a report by MSN in New Zealand.

If postponed, it will mark the second time the case has been pushed back. The hearing was originally scheduled for August and then later rescheduled for March. The United States has accused DotCom and six other defendants of operating MegaUpload as a criminal enterprise. The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia alleged in an indictment filed in January that the managers encouraged users to store pirated music, movies, and other media in MegaUpload's cloud-storage service.

MegaUpload is the highest-profile service to be accused of criminal copyright violations by the U.S. government, and the case is being watched closely around the globe.

During the hearing, DotCom and his wife asked for more funds to be released so they can pay their living expenses. The New Zealand court overseeing the case initially released $40,000 New Zealand dollars ($32,000) per month to the DotComs, but that court order has expired, MSN reported.

DotCom's lawyer said today that the family had cut by half its costs, such as salaries for nannies and household servants.

 

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