For a New Zealand town abandoned by tourists, the 'bubble' is a godsend

A final setback for Kim Dotcom in exchange for his extradition from New Zealand

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Wellington (AFP) – New Zealand’s highest court on Tuesday rejected Kim Dotcom’s final appeal against extradition to the United States, accusing the founder of industrial-scale piracy.

The Wellington High Court rejected the appeal of the German citizen and two of his co-defendants, dismissing their arguments that they had faced a miscarriage of justice.

The three-judge panel concluded: “We do not believe that the Court needs to do more with respect to the proposed appeals, given our finding that there was no miscarriage of justice.”

The German giant suspected of embezzling millions of dollars through its token download platform is accused in the United States of fraud, extortion and money laundering, and its founder faces up to 20 years in prison.

This was the last resort of the internet entrepreneur, real name Kim Schmitz, nearly a decade after a stunning raid by New Zealand police at the behest of the FBI at the ‘Dotcom Mansion’, his luxury Auckland property, in January 2012.

A helicopter parked outside Kim Dotcom’s property in Auckland, New Zealand, at the launch of its new website, January 20, 2013. Michael Bradley Agence France-Presse / The Archives

During the long battle that followed, New Zealand justice handed down unfavorable verdicts to the German and the three other defendants, Matthias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batatu, for whom the charges were dropped.

The 47-year-old has been a careless reaction on social media to his latest legal setback.

“Not impressive,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Kim Dotcom and the other defendants are suspected of making $175 million in illegal profits from their activities and causing losses of more than half a billion dollars to rights holders in pirated music, movies and other products.

Megaupload has been shut down by US courts.

Defendants defend themselves from any crime. Kim Dotcom claims that the lawsuits were orchestrated by the administration of former President Barack Obama to please Hollywood influencers.

Megaupload was an early example of “cloud computing”, where users could upload files stored on servers making them easily available for download.

. home page "Mega"the new website created by Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload, filmed January 2013
Homepage for “Mega”, the new website created by Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload, photographed January 2013 Thomas Samson Agence France-Presse / The Archives

At the height of its activity, in 2011, Megaupload accounted for 50 million daily users, 4% of global Internet traffic.

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