Megaupload Kim Dotcom Rebuffs US Legal Move
Online entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has brushed aside an increased risk of extradition to the United States after New Zealand judges overturned a lower court's demand about evidence.
The court of appeal ruled that US authorities need not disclose all of the evidence they have against Mr Dotcom if they want to extradite him for alleged online piracy.
Mr Dotcom, who was arrested over claims relating to his now-defunct Megaupload file-sharing website, took to social media after Friday's ruling.
He tweeted: "Am I disappointed about the ruling today? YES. Do 'good faith' & 'US govt' go together? NO.
"Will I sleep like an innocent baby tonight? YES."
Last year, his lawyers argued they could not effectively fight the extradition battle without full disclosure of evidence held on the site's founder by the US.
But lawyers representing the US successfully challenged the district and high court rulings, arguing in the appeal court that the evidence could involve billions of emails and would delay the extradition hearing.
Two of the three judges on the appeals court bench voted to quash the order and said an accurate summary of the evidence would suffice at the hearing, which has already been delayed twice and is now expected to proceed in August.
The US Justice Department and FBI want Mr Dotcom to face charges of racketeering fraud, money laundering and copyright theft in a US court, which could see him jailed for up to 20 years if convicted.
The German-born ex-hacker said his legal team would continue to battle extradition.
He tweeted: "The fight goes on. Next is the Supreme Court of New Zealand."
It is the first reversal after a string of legal wins for Mr Dotcom, who last year gained a court ruling that the search warrants police used when they raided his Auckland home as part of the operation against Megaupload were illegal.
Political fallout over the raid was widespread in New Zealand.
Prime Minister John Kay apologised to the entrepreneur after it was revealed that government eavesdroppers from GCSB - its version of GCHQ - tracked and spied on Mr Dotcom for the police ahead of the raid.
Police were also criticised for their heavy-handed apprehension of Mr Dotcom, after dozens of armed police descended on his rented mansion.
The 39-year-old's file-sharing empire had 50 million daily visitors and accounted for 4% of all internet traffic at its peak, but was shut down after the raid in January last year.
Mr Dotcom is free on bail and denies US allegations the Megaupload sites netted more than $175m (£115m) in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners more than $500m (£333m) by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows and other content.
In January he launched a successor to Megaupload, called Mega, which provides cloud storage with encryption, in an attempt to disassociate his business from knowledge of customers' activities.