The internet entrepreneur known as Kim Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz, and three of his ex-colleagues (Mathias Ortmann, Bran van der Kolk and Finn Botato) will now have their extradition appeals heard in the New Zealand Supreme Court.
The four men were originally arrested, in 2012, during a police raid in Auckland. They have been charged, on behalf of US authorities, with conspiracy to defraud, racketeering and money laundering. The charges relate to a complex fraud which US authorities believe took place using a Bitcoin platform and Kim Dotcom’s file-sharing website, Megaupload. Since 2012, the four men have appealed against their extradition to the US through the New Zealand court system. Most recently, in July 2018, the New Zealand Court of Appeal ordered that all four men be extradited to the US.
On 20th December 2018, New Zealand Supreme Court justices unanimously agreed they had jurisdiction to hear the appeal and granted leave for the case to proceed. If the New Zealand Supreme Court does not overturn the extradition orders, the last appeal will be to New Zealand’s minister of justice who has the ultimate say on whether the men will be extradited to the US.