17 Nov 2012

PM defends handling of Dotcom extradition bid

2:38 pm on 17 November 2012

Prime Minister John Key has defended the Government's handling of the United States extradition bid for internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.

Covert surveillance of Mr Dotcom, as well as warrants for a commando-style raid on his Coatesville mansion, have been found to have been illegal.

Mr Dotcom, a German national who has New Zealand residency, is fighting extradition to the US to face copyright, money laundering and fraud charges related to his file-sharing website Megaupload.

Mr Key told TV3's The Nation on Saturday that New Zealand has simply complied with a US request for Mr Dotcom's extradition.

He defended the police handling of the raid, saying it is now known that guns were found on the Coatesville property and police were right to take the matter seriously.

Mr Key says Mr Dotcom can easily resolve the charges against him by turning up in an American court and presenting evidence to support his case.

Kim Dotcom was arrested during a raid at his mansion near Auckland on 19 January this year and the Megaupload site was shut down the following day. Three others are also facing charges.