U.S. files for extradition of Megaupload kingpin Kim Dotcom

The United States government, as promised, has filed papers with New Zealand to extradite Megaupload founder and alleged mega-pirate Kim Dotcom, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Dotcom (pictured) and several other Megaupload employees were named in a 72-page indictment issued in mid-January. It alleged that Dotcom and his colleagues facilitated $500 million in damages to copyright owners.

Last we heard on the Megaupload front, Dotcom was surprisingly released on bail two weeks ago. Dotcom’s $4.3 million home and other assets were seized earlier, which led a New Zealand judge to believe Dotcom was not a flight risk.

Now the next chapter of the story begins with Dotcom being potentially being sent to the U.S. to face trial here. U.S. government officials had 45 days to file an extradition request after seizing Dotcom’s assets, and now they’ve at least accomplished that. At this rate, the extradition hearing will likely not be held until August, so we’ve got a ways to go before Dotcom would end up facing trial.

Dotcom has said he is innocent of the charges. Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken previously told VentureBeat that the company would “be assembling a worldwide team of top-notch lawyers, intellectual property lawyers and tech lawyers to defend this. There’s a good chance Megaupload will prevail in this case.”

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