Kim Dotcom is set to face an extradition hearing next week, on the 21st of September.
The Megaupload founder has been dodging extradition to the United States from his home in New Zealand for the last few years, and recently failed in his last attempt to have it deferred.
However, Dotcom’s legal team is continuing the fight to delay the process even further.
In a statement to Ars Technica, Dotcom’s lead counsel, Ira Rothken, stated that “The motion for stay is being raised with the District Court on day one of the extradition hearing.” He added that “We believe the [United States Department of Justice] is acting in a manner to deny due process in New Zealand and we are hopeful the court will decide the stay matter as a threshold issue.”
The legal team representing Dotcom argues that in order for the internet entrepreneur to properly defend himself against the charges filed against him – which include copyright infringement, online piracy and money laundering – US legal experts and lawyers must be brought in to assess the case.
This legal team will then discover whether the allegations brought against Dotcom are false or have merit.
The US government responded by stating that these details can be ironed out in the extradition hearing and there is no need to delay proceedings any further. The Court of Appeal of New Zealand appears to agree, as a panel of three judges ruled that the hearing is to move forward.
Should the hearing be delayed again, Dotcom will be an official New Zealand citizen. This is thanks to his entry into the country five years ago on the Investor Plus program which allows people to become permanent New Zealand residents provided that they invest NZ$ 10 million over a three year period, and two years after that he automatically becomes a New Zealand citizen.
The date that two years is up? Next Monday, the 21st of September, 2015.
Should this happen it will become a whole lot harder for the US government to extradite Dotcom from New Zealand. The extradition treaty between New Zealand the US states that New Zealand will only extradite a citizen at its discretion and if the government deems it proper to do so.[Via – Ars Technica]