Kim Dotcom has been released from prison after a New Zealand judge
granted him bail. The Megaupload founder will be the subject of strict
conditions including no Internet access after the prosecution expressed
fears he might reopen the site. Dotcom will now continue his fight
against extradition to the United States on copyright infringement,
racketeering and money laundering charges.
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom was released on bail by North Shore District Court Judge Nevin Dawson today.
Dotcom had been held in custody since an anti-terrorist police squad raided his Coatesville mansion last month following a lengthy FBI investigation.
While the prosecution argued that Dotcom would have the financial resources to flee the country, the Judge concluded that “none of significance” were found.
An investigation did turn up four additional bank accounts in the Philippines but they were all empty.
As a result the Megaupload founder was released from prison and will
continue to fight the accusations of the United States, where he is
wanted on racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering
Although no longer in prison, Dotcom will have to abide by several
strict conditions at his Coatesville house. No helicopters will be
allowed to land on the premises, Dotcom will have to give police 24
hours notice should he choose to leave, and when he does there will be a
limit of 80km to his travels.
The Megaupload founder will also be denied access to the Internet.
Dotcom’s lawyer Paul Davison tried to lift the Internet restriction by
arguing that it was unrealistic since his client has to stay in touch
with his US-based defense team.
“It’s like saying he shouldn’t have access to a telephone, it’s such a fundamental means of communication,” Davison noted.
Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the
risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities
can’t touch it.
Bram van der Kolk, Mathias Ortmann and Finn Batato, three other
Megaupload employees named in the “Mega Conspiracy” indictment, were all
previously released on bail. The former recently called on the New
Zealand authorities to keep its dignity in its extradition dealings with the United States.
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