Setback for Kim Dotcom in mega online piracy battle

FILE IMAGE Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has lost a second bid against extradition to the US on charges of racketeering

"The evidence the appellants say the United States wrongfully prevented them from calling would not affect the question of whether there is sufficient evidence to make out a prima facie case".

Dotcom had asked the court to overturn two previous rulings that the Megaupload founder and his three co-accused be sent to the United States to face charges.

The decision whether to extradite Dotcom now rests with New Zealand's Justice Minister Andrew Little, however Dotcom has indicted he'll apply for leave to appeal Thursday's ruling at New Zealand's Supreme Court.

Megaupload was once one of the internet's most popular sites and USA prosecutors say it raked in at least 175 million dollars (£130 million), mainly from people using it to illegally download songs, television shows and movies. "We have now been to three courts each with a different legal analysis - one of which thought that there was no copyright infringement at all".

Dotcom was "extremely disappointed" by the court's stance, and, without mincing words, he dismissed it as being "in complete denial of the legislative history and intention of the Copyright Act". "I will appeal to the Supreme Court".

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has led the case and claims Megaupload was a criminal conspiracy that earned the men $US175 million.

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"We will seek review with the NZ Supreme Court".

The latest ruling does not determine whether the defendants are guilty or innocent, merely that they can be sent to the U.S. to stand trial.

Dotcom's lengthy legal battle has previously seen the District and High Courts find against him.

German-born Dotcom, who has New Zealand residency, became well known for his lavish lifestyle as much as his computer skills.

Since then, Mr Dotcom has released a music album, started another internet file-sharing company called Mega and launched a political party, which unsuccessfully contested the nation's 2014 election.

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