Dotcom judge steps down after joking U.S. is "enemy"

Kim Dotcom speaks to media after being released on bail at North Shore District Court, Feb. 22, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Kim Dotcom
Kim Dotcom speaks to media after being released on bail at North Shore District Court, Feb. 22, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Sandra Mu/Getty Images
(CBS/AP) A New Zealand judge has stepped down from overseeing the extradition case of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom after jokingly referring to the United States as "the enemy."

The comment by Auckland District Court Judge David Harvey raised questions about his impartiality. He was discussing Internet copyright at a conference last week when he told an audience, "We have met the enemy, and he is U.S."

Harvey's comments referencing late cartoonist Walt Kelly were recorded and posted on the Internet.

The U.S. is attempting to extradite Dotcom on racketeering and money laundering charges that allege his file-sharing site was facilitating massive Internet piracy.

The FBI arrested four people connected to Hong King-based website Megaupload on Jan. 19. The site let users download films, TV shows, games and music for free, making a profit from advertising and subscriptions for faster download speeds.

Harvey will be replaced by judge Nevin Dawson. An extradition hearing has been scheduled for March.

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