Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom set to launch political party in New Zealand

The internet mogul is currently fighting attempts to extradite him to the US on copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering charges

Kim Dotcom, the flamboyant founder of the now-defunct file-storage website Megaupload, has announced he will launch a political party in New Zealand to contest next year's elections.

The internet mogul, who is currently fighting attempts to extradite him to the United States on copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering charges, described his political plans on Twitter as 'embryonic'.

Dotcom, who has become a celebrity in New Zealand as a consequence of the protracted legal battle over his extradition, said the unnamed party would launch on January 20th - the second anniversary of an armed police raid on his Auckland mansion.

"WOW! I'm getting so many encouraging messages about my plans for a new political party. Thank you," the 39-year-old tweeted on Sunday.

Aside from indicating that he wants the party to campaign to improve New Zealand's information technology infrastructure, including "fair Internet pricing and no more data caps", few policy details have been revealed.

"The party website with information about our vision and candidates will launch with another BIG event on Jan 20, 2014. Second raid anniversary," he wrote on Twitter.

Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz in Germany, is wanted for allegedly making more than $175m (£110m) in illegal profits from online piracy. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and is currently on bail and living in his rented $24m pad in New Zealand.

Earlier this year he scored a significant victory after New Zealand police were ordered by the High Court to sift through digital material taken from his home during a raid and return anything irrelevant to their investigation at their own cost. High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann said the seizure of the devices without sorting them first was unlawful.

John Key, the New Zealand Prime Minister, immediately dismissed Dotcom's political plans as a 'stunt' and suggested he name his organisation the "no-hope" party.

Mr Key told TVNZ's Breakfast programme: "It's like everything we see from the guy. He wants to stay here and fight his extradition treaty. He has very good PR people. Let's see how it goes."

He laughed off any suggestion he could in future form a coalition in government with Dotcom.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Estimator

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Opilio Recruitment: Product Owner

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas