It's a good thing Kim Dotcom is becoming a popular "cult hero" in his adopted home of New Zealand, because for now it looks like he'll be stuck there at least until March of 2013 as his extradition hearing has been delayed. Even though his attorney agreed to it, the founder of the file-sharing site MegaUpload is not at all happy with the delay, which will keep him stuck in his Aukland-area mansion (right), but out of a U.S. courtroom or jail, well past his previous extradition date of Aug. 6. He says that's because the U.S. Department of Justice, which has seized his assets as it prosecutes him and MegaUpload for copyright infringement, is trying to undo him through attrition. "Extradition hearing delayed til March. Dirty delay tactics by the US. They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest," Dotcom tweeted on Monday.
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He elaborated to The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Miller:
"The actions by the [United States Department of Justice] clearly demonstrate that they don't have a case and that this ... was about killing Megaupload and creating a chilling effect to freeze the whole file-hosting sector. They achieved that," Dotcom said in the interview, which was conducted via Skype. "I don't think they are prepared for the wave that's coming to them now."
Dotcom may be stuck in place for the moment, but his legal fortunes are turning. Last month, a New Zealand judge ruled that the warrants police used when they stormed his mansion in January were invalid, and that the raid was illegal, as was the New Zealand police's hand-off of seized hard drives to the FBI. Dotcom's U.S.-based lawyer, Ira Rothken, has filed a motion to dismiss the charges against MegaUpload, a hearing for which is scheduled for July 27. Kim and his associates have always maintained they operated MegaUpload within the bounds of U.S. law, even though it was a foreign company. And Rothken, at least, has faith in their case, Wired points out. With company assets seized, neither Kim nor the 24 other lawyers working with him have been paid yet, and they won't until they get the money back.
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[Inset photo via Associated Press]