3 Oct 2017

US Supreme Court rules against Dotcom

12:51 pm on 3 October 2017

Kim Dotcom's bid to recover $US40 million of assets seized by the US government has been rejected by the US Supreme Court.

Kim Dotcom awaits the outcome of his extradition hearing.

Kim Dotcom awaits the outcome of his extradition hearing. Photo: RNZ/Diego Opatowski

The justices left in place a lower court's ruling that the US government could seize up the assets, worth $NZ55.5m, held outside the United States as part of a civil forfeiture action being pursued in parallel with criminal charges against Mr Dotcom over his now-defunct file-sharing site Megaupload.

Mr Dotcom and three other defendants are still fighting US attempts to extradite them from New Zealand on the criminal charges.

The North Shore district court ruled in 2015 that the group could be extradited to the US to face the charges, a ruling upheld by the High Court in February this year.

The group have been granted permission by the Court of Appeal to appeal the extradition, with a hearing set for February next year.

The seized assets at the centre of the US ruling include two houses, luxury cars and bank accounts.

The defendants contested the US government's forfeiture claims, saying in part that it could not seize property under the jurisdiction of a foreign court.

The US government's legal argument, adopted by the appeals court, is that the defendants are fugitives seeking to avoid criminal prosecution in the US and therefore are not allowed to contest the forfeiture.

-Reuters/RNZ

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