Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom would not get a fair trial in the "unfair playing ground" of the U.S. where he faces copyright infringement and racketeering charges, his lawyer told CNBC on Monday.
German-born Dotcom is currently appealing a ruling by a New Zealand district judge last year that he could be extradited to the U.S. to face charges. The appeal case kicked off Monday and is the latest in a dramatic saga which began when Dotcom's Auckland home was raided by New Zealand police in 2012.
Since then, Dotcom and his co-founders Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batato, have been accused of internet piracy - racketeering, money laundering, copyright infringement and a number of other charges - by U.S. authorities related to Megaupload, a cloud-based file hosting site which was shut down in 2012.
Dotcom denies all of the charges. But when his lawyer, Ira Rothken, was asked why Dotcom won't just go and defend himself in the U.S., he replied that the internet entrepreneur would not be treated fairly.
"We don't believe that we can actually get a fair trial in the United States," Rothken told CNBC in a TV interview on Monday.
"I'm not going to say there is something crooked about the U.S. legal system. But if you take a look at this case, there are a lot of things going on right now where it appears where the United States just want to win rather than do justice," he said, adding that the U.S. is "an unfair playing ground for this type of case".