May 23, 2022

Two former colleagues of tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom have agreed to face on-line piracy fees in a New Zealand court docket in alternate for US extradition proceedings being dropped, authorities and the defendants mentioned on Tuesday.

Dotcom, founding father of the Megaupload file-sharing system, remains to be being pursued by america on fraud, cash laundering and racketeering fees punishable with as much as 20 years in jail.

The web site — an early prototype of cloud storage — was shut down when New Zealand police raided Dotcom’s Auckland mansion in January 2012 on the behest of the FBI, triggering quite a few court docket hearings and appeals.

Former coders Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk mentioned in a press release issued by their lawyer that they’ve agreed to face equal fees in New Zealand.

“We have now reached an settlement with the New Zealand Authorities and america of America below which we have now agreed to be charged in New Zealand for offences just like these we face in america,” the 2 males mentioned.

They emphasised that the case has taken a “heavy toll on our lives” and that neither desires to go away New Zealand, the place they’ve residency.

Kim Dotcom was initially charged with racketeering, fraud and cash laundering in america and nonetheless faces extradition Picture: AFP / MICHAEL BRADLEY

New Zealand’s Crown Regulation Workplace confirmed the deal in a press release, saying the costs filed in Auckland District Court docket on Tuesday morning have been the equal of what the pair would have confronted in america.

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US prosecutors allege the Megaupload service facilitated widespread piracy of movies and publications, costing rights holders greater than US$500 million.

Dotcom is now the final remaining individual charged within the case to nonetheless be dealing with extradition.

A fourth defendant, former Megaupload advertising and marketing supervisor Finn Batato, had extradition fees dropped final yr after creating a life-threatening medical situation.

All 4 males have maintained their innocence, questioning why Megaupload was focused.

Dotcom responded on social media on Tuesday, posting a defiant {photograph} accompanied by a message: “Hold combating!”.

He denies any wrongdoing and resides in Queenstown, New Zealand whereas on bail as he fights extradition proceedings.