Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom stands next to his wife Mona as he talks to members of the media after he left the High Court in Auckland February 29, 2012.

STRINGER/NEW ZEALAND

Kim Dotcom, the Internet tycoon at the centre of a U.S. investigation into online piracy and fraud, said on Wednesday he was willing to go to the United States to clear his name, offering to forego a pending extradition hearing in New Zealand.

Mr. Dotcom, the founder of the Megaupload file-sharing site, challenged the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to a fair trial, and said he was willing to face them in court in the United States if they agreed to certain conditions.

"Hey DOJ (Department of Justice), we will go to the US. No need for extradition," Mr. Dotcom, the 38-year-old German national, who also goes by Kim Schmitz, posted on Twitter.

Story continues below advertisement

"We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses," he added, referring to himself and three others facing the U.S. charges.

In its highest-profile investigation into online piracy, the FBI alleges that Mr. Dotcom led a group that has netted $175-million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorisation.

His lawyers say the company simply offered online storage.

Mr. Dotcom's offer comes a day after a New Zealand court delayed a hearing into the U.S. extradition request until March next year because of ongoing legal hearings related to the search and seizure of evidence by the United States.

The New Zealand High Court in June ruled that search warrants used by police to search the flamboyant Mr. Dotcom's mansion to collect the evidence were illegal. The court also ruled that the FBI's copying of evidence and sending it to the United States was also unlawful.

Acting on a request from the FBI, New Zealand armed police, backed by helicopters, swept into Mr. Dotcom's rented estate outside Auckland in January, confiscating computers and hard drives.

Mr. Dotcom and the three others were arrested, and Mr. Dotcom was kept in custody for a month before being granted bail.

Story continues below advertisement

New Zealand courts have progressively eased restrictions on him, allowing him back into his mansion, giving him access to hundreds of thousands of dollars for living and legal expenses, and removing some travel and meeting restrictions.

Mr. Dotcom told a local paper that U.S. authorities already know they cannot win the case against him, but his legal bills are mounting up into "millions of dollars", which he cannot pay because of a freeze on much of his fortune and assets.

"I have accumulated millions of dollars in legal bills and I haven't been able to pay a single cent," he told the New Zealand Herald on Wednesday.

"They just want to hang me out to dry and wait until there is no support left."

He is increasingly using Twitter to keep his followers abreast of every twist and turn in his complicated case, while also posting photos of family birthdays and praising his legal team.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies