A judge has today ruled Kim Dotcom along with three other defendants is eligible for extradition to the US.

The decision comes after almost four years of legal wrangling after a dramatic police raid on Dotcom's north Auckland mansion in January 2012.

Full wrap of the decision here
3:15pm: Justice Minister Amy Adams this afternoon said the first step after the judgment was to wait and see if it was appealed.

"If it is not then I will need to consider the court's determination and receive advice from the Ministry of Justice on the relevant issues under the Extradition Act."


"As the court's decision may be appealed, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time."

Under the Extradition Act 1999, both the courts and the minister have roles in an extradition process.

Ms Adams said the role of the court was to consider whether the evidence established there was a case to answer.

"The Justice Minister determines whether any of the matters set out in the Extradition Act apply such that extradition should not be ordered.

"However, I haven't begun to turn my mind to that question. Such a decision would not arise until after the conclusion of any appeal of the legal finding that the respondents are eligible for extradition."

3:05pm: Judge Dawson said he was satisfied the men could be given bail.

Dotcom's lawyer Ron Mansfield confirmed there would be an appeal lodged over the extradition this afternoon.

2:56pm: Crown prosecutor Christine Gordon did not oppose bail for all man but said the "change of circumstances" should see the conditions of bail reviewed.


She said the men should now be ordered to report to probation every day.

2:52pm: Botato's wife began crying as soon as the judge released his decision, as did other supporters of the defendants.

Judge Dawson said the men had 15 days within which they could appeal the ruling or make a habeus corpus application.

2:51pm: Judge Dawson said there was an "overwhelming" amount of evidence that all four defendants should be surrendered to the US.

2:49pm: The applications by the defendants for a stay of proceedings were outlined by the judge, who ruled the court had jurisdiction to hear them.

The defence alleged they were "starved" of funds by the Crown, that there was a conflict of interest by the Crown representing the US government and that there was n abuse of process.

Judge Dawson today declined all stay applications.

2:45pm: Kim Dotcom's fate in New Zealand will soon be decided.

The judge said when Megaupload was at its peak it was the 13th most popular site on the internet, accounting for 4 per cent of all online traffic.

In 2010, it is estimated Dotcom earned US$42m, Mathias Ortmann US$9m, Bram van der Kolk $US2m and Finn Batato US$400,000.

Kim Dotcom arrived at court, wearing his signature black, looking just as he did at his first appearance four years ago.

Questioned how he was feeling about the decision by reporters he said: "It's Christmas. Let's see what Santa has in store."

Dotcom's ex-wife Mona also arrived at court, along with his co-accused. Ms Dotcom has not been present for the previous extradition hearings.

The decision comes after a two-month hearing in which the United States put forward its application to have Dotcom and three others arrested in New Zealand in 2012 extradited to face criminal copyright and related charges.

Dotcom and the other - Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato - have strenuously denied the charges, which were connected to the operation of the Megaupload filesharing business operating out of Hong Kong. The business was one of the most popular on the internet, and carried popular movies and music.

Judge Dawson's decision will reveal whether he considers the required level of evidence has been produced to show there is a case for the men to answer in the US.

The next stage is with Justice Minister Amy Adams, who will decide whether the extradition will go ahead.

If the decision goes against Dotcom and his co-accused, it will likely trigger a fresh bail application as their status will have changed. The four have been on bail since March 2012, with the weeks after their arrest spent in jail.

The Crown, acting for the US, unsuccessfully challenged Dotcom's bail a year ago.
Of the four men, three have families with young children. Dotcom has five children, Batato has two and van der Kolk has one.

Dotcom timeline

December 2010: Dotcom arrives in New Zealand for the first time as a resident.

January 2012: Police raid the Dotcom mansion, arresting the tycoon and three others on FBI charges of criminal copyright violation.

February 2012: Dotcom is granted bail, with strict conditions, including that he may not leave the country.

March 2012: The US lodges a request to extradite Dotcom and his co-accused.

June 2012: A High Court judge rules police botched the search warrants used to raid Dotcom's mansion.

September 2012: It is revealed the GCSB spied on Dotcom when it shouldn't have, prompting a review of the spy agency.

January 2013: Dotcom launches his new site, Mega, on the first anniversary of the raid.

March 2014: Supreme Court rules against Dotcom and says the US doesn't have to disclose all the evidence it has against him.

September 2014: Dotcom launches the internet Party, but the campaign ultimately ends in failure, winning no seats in Parliament.

November 2014: Dotcom's long-standing lawyer, Paul Davison, QC, steps down from the case.

September 2015: After a year of delays, the extradition hearing finally begins.

November 2015: Extradition hearing ends.