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Kim Dotcom, Megaupload Founder, Offers To Extradite Himself

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom, left, leaves court after he was granted bail in the in Auckland, New Zealand.
Michael Bradley
AFP/Getty Images
Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom, left, leaves court after he was granted bail in the in Auckland, New Zealand.

Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, now says he's ready to fly himself to the United States to face charges and forgo what could be a lengthy extradition process.

As you might expect, Dotcom made the offer of self-extradition on Twitter, saying:

"Hey DOJ, we will go to the US. No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses."

Dotcom — that's his legal name — was in New Zealand in January when the FBI shut down his file-sharing site, accused him of helping millions of people access pirated content and froze millions of dollars of his money worldwide. Since then and from New Zealand, Dotcom has been fighting both a legal war and a public relations war against the U.S. government and he's become a kind of patron saint of those in favor of a free Internet.

In an interview with The Guardian, Dotcom said he was in a "fighting mood."

The paper reports:

"The charges against him, he said, were part of a 'foul game' on the part of the US government, and that funds permitting,'I am going to war.' ...

"He told the Guardian that the offer was genuine but he was not holding his breath. 'Considering the way the US government has conducted their case and the way I was treated, I never expect to get a fair trial in the United States,' he said.

"'We are not expecting to hear back regarding the offer and I remain committed to fighting extradition in New Zealand.'"

One thing that makes Dotcom's case complicated, reports The New Zealand Herald, is that a court found police acted on an unlawful search warrant when they raided Dotcom's home in January. That means the search and the seizures were unlawful.

The FBI, reports the Herald, is allegedly trying to use evidence collected during the raid to make its extradition case.

Yesterday, Dotcom learned his extradition hearing had been delayed from August of this year to March of 2013.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.