Updated: Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom bailed

Extradition hearing now expected to take place in August

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has been granted bail at North Shore District Court this morning, as the Megaupload extradition hearing has been delayed, possibly until August.

Dotcom and three other Megaupload defendants were expected to appear in Auckland High Court today to defend an extradition request from the United States.

However according to the judgement of North Shore District Court Judge Nevin Dawson the extradition hearing may be delayed by several months.

"The present indications are that an extradition hearing is likely to take four days and is unlikely to occur before the end of May 2012 and more likely not until July 2012," Judge Dawson wrote. "It is submitted that the period of remand is likely to be lengthy, is consequently onerous, and effectively punitive upon the applicant notwithstanding that no criminal conduct has been established."

Later reports have indicated the extradition hearing will not take place until August.

Under a US grand jury indictment filed on January 5, Dotcom, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann, and Bram van der Kolk, two other Megaupload employees and two related companies were charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.

All four defendants in New Zealand have denied any wrongdoing.

A second, superseding indictment filed in the US on February 16, added additional charges of copyright infringement and new charges of wire fraud against the defendants.

According to report by CNET News, lawyers acting for the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which filed both grand jury indictments, have yet to file extradition paperwork with New Zealand authorities.

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