North Shore District Court Judge David Harvey has stepped down from the Megaupload extradition case after his comments suggesting that "the US is the enemy" were widely reported.
As a result of the comment Judge Harvey stood down from the Dotcom case, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed.
He made the comment during a discussion on copyright and trade talks with the United States at the NetHui conference held in Auckland last week.
Judge Harvey said during the conference: "if I could use Russell [Brown's] tweet from earlier on: we have met the enemy and he is [the] US."
Harvey had been due to preside over a hearing to decide whether to grant a US extradition request for Kim Dotcom and three other Megaupload defendants, who have been indicted for alleged copyright infringement in the US.
But Harvey's "enemy" comment was reported widely, appearing on the CNET, Digital Music News and Ars Technica websites, among others, leading some commentators to question his impartiality in the case.
The extradition hearing, which was originally set down for next month but which was later delayed until March 2013, will now be heard by Judge Nevin Dawson.