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'Dirty delay tactics from US' over extradition hearing - Dotcom

Published: 10:51AM Tuesday July 10, 2012 Source: ONE News

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing has been put off until next year.

The German national was arrested after police swooped on his home in January and stands accused of breaching copyright laws costing owners more than US$500 million.

Dotcom is fighting extradition from New Zealand to face the charges in the United States.

His extradition hearing was scheduled to start at the North Shore District Court on August 6. Now it is not expected to take place until late in March next year.

Dotcom took to Twitter today to vent his frustration over the delay.

"Extradition hearing delayed til March. Dirty delay tactics by the US. They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest," he tweeted.

Dotcom's lawyer Greg Towers told ONE News it is due to the complexity of the case, and that there are matters still before the courts that need to be dealt with.

Towers said the date change is not seen as an advantage or disadvantage in any way.

Dotcom is on bail at his luxury Coatesville mansion awaiting the hearing.

Invalid search warrants

Last month a High Court judge ruled the search warrants used to confiscate hard drive data and other personal items from the internet tycoon's Coatesville home in January were invalid.

During the initial search of Dotcom's rented mansion, police took dozens of items including anything that could store digital data, meaning home videos, CCTV footage and data from the swimming pool heating system were seized.

In a minute released today Judge David Harvey said Crown lawyers would probably appeal the decision relating to the unlawfulness of the search and disclosure to the Court of Appeal.

He said an appeal from the Court of Appeal to the New Zealand Supreme Court could not be excluded.

"It was recognised, therefore, that the appeal process would take some time and that these appeals were necessary in light of concerns expressed on behalf of the respondents (Dotcom's lawyers) about access to information and their ability to properly resist the application for extradition."

Dotcom's lawyer Ira Rothken earlier told ONE News he has not ruled out seeking compensation from the New Zealand Government in a move that could potentially cost the taxpayer thousands.

Authorities say Dotcom and his three co-accused - Mathias Ortmann, Fin Batato and Bram Van der Kolk - used Megaupload and its affiliated sites to knowingly make money from pirated movies and games.