Flamboyant internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has resigned as a director of his Mega data storage empire to focus on his efforts on fighting extradition to the United States and other projects.
Dotcom resigned as a director of Mega on Aug. 29, and was replaced by Hong Kong-based Bonnie Lam the same day, according to filings to the Companies Office.
Dotcom staged a full-scale global media launch for Mega last year to replace Megaupload, his previous venture which was shut down in a US-led operation that alleged the file-sharing firm and its owners had committed mass copyright infringement and money laundering of more than US$500 million. Tony Lentino and Mathias Ortmann are still on Mega's board.
Mega chief executive Vikram Kumar told BusinessDesk in an emailed statement Dotcom resigned "to be able to focus on the extradition case, an upcoming music website, and to build a political party."
Dotcom doesn't hold any directorships in New Zealand, and has one direct shareholding in RSV Holdings, according to Companies Office filings.
His wife, Mona, is a director of Mr KimDotcom Ltd and a director and shareholder in MD Corporate Trustee Ltd, the biggest shareholder in Mega.
Earlier this week Dotcom told followers on Twitter he planned to launch a political party in New Zealand, with the next election likely to be near the end of next year, and has previously signalled plans for web-based music service called Megabox.
Dotcom and his co-accused Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk have taken their case to the Supreme Court, seeking access to evidence in the US Federal government's case to extradite them, and are awaiting a decision.
The District and High Courts upheld their request for a trimmed down disclosure, though that was overturned in the Court of Appeal earlier this year.
Dotcom's high profile arrest in January last year led to an overhaul of New Zealand's external spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, after the intelligence unit unlawfully intercepted his communications.
At the time of the surveillance, the GCSB wasn't allowed to spy on New Zealand residents and Dotcom had been granted residency.
The government has since tweaked the law governing the spy agency, allowing it to act on behalf of the domestic spy agency, the Security Intelligence Service, the police or the Defence Force.
By Paul McBeth - BusinessDesk