Kim Dotcom has taken a step closer to winning compensation for the Attorney General unlawfully declining 52 “urgent” Privacy Act requests in 2015.

Dotcom is facing extradition to the United States on criminal copyright-related charges, but as well as fighting to remain in New Zealand, he has been seeking compensation for breaches of his privacy rights.

In 2015, Dotcom’s lawyers sent 52 government agencies Privacy Act “everything requests” asking for all personal information they held on him.

He asked for them to be treated as “urgent” requests as he needed the information for his pending extradition hearing, but the 52 requests were all dealt with by the Attorney General Chris Findlayson, who declined them.

Now the Court of Appeal has determined the 52 requests should have been dealt with separately by the 52 government agencies, which included the Ministry of Defence.

And Court of Appeal judges Christine French, Brendan Brown and Denis Clifford ruled the 52 requests should not have been declined on the grounds of “vexatiousness”.

They sent the case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, which would now consider what damages Dotcom was due.

German-born Dotcom was the founder of the Megaupload file-sharing website, which was closed in 2012.

In November, the Supreme Court ruled Dotcom could be extradited to the United States, but in a twist, the top court has granted Dotcom and his three co-accused the ability to challenge the decision through a judicial review.

The Dotcom case has embarrassed many New Zealand institutions including the police, spy agencies and prison authorities.

In 2013, then prime minister John Key was forced to apologise to Dotcom after police found the Government Communications Security Bureau had illegally spied on him.

The following year, private prison operator Serco apologised to Dotcom for his treatment at Mt Eden prison after his arrest and to Stuff for initially providing incorrect information about his time in custody.

Dotcom alleged he had not received bedding, a towel, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste or a toothbrush on the night of his incarceration, leaving him unable to wash himself after going to the toilet.

Dotcom has alleged his arrest in New Zealand in 2012 was orchestrated by US president-elect Joe Biden to appease Hollywood interests in the wake of President Barack Obama torpedoing an anti-piracy bill, which would have introduced a maximum five-year jail term for streaming pirated content.

The arrest was dramatic, with armed police storming his rented Auckland mansion by helicopter at dawn, at the behest of the FBI, alleging he was part of a “mega conspiracy”.