WELLINGTON — Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party in New Zealand unveiled plans on Friday to contest the September general election, but the mogul, who is fighting extradition to the United States, will not be involved.
In a statement on its website, the Internet Party said Dotcom had resigned from its executive committee and was no longer involved in operational decision-making.
"As such, Kim Dotcom has no advance knowledge that we are issuing this statement," it said in confirming "we are currently preparing our campaign for the 2017 New Zealand general election".
The flamboyant German-born Dotcom, who founded the file-sharing website Megaupload, established the Internet Party to contest the 2014 New Zealand election in an attempt to change the government, believing that could help his fight against extradition.
However, the party received just 1.42 per cent of the vote.
Just before the poll, the Internet Party held a public meeting – featuring video appearances by former US intelligence operative Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange -- to accuse the government of mass surveillance on its people.
In its statement on Friday, the Internet Party said further information "will continue to come to light about the extent to which New Zealand and the world have been actively deceived by their politicians and the state".
The FBI alleges Megaupload netted more than US$175 million in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners more than US$500 million by offering pirated content.
A New Zealand court ruled in February that Dotcom was eligible to be extradited to the United States on fraud charges. He denies any wrongdoing and is planning to appeal. — AFP