Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom granted bail

By Lee Kaelin on February 22, 2012, 9:30 AM

The founder of file-sharing website MegaUpload, Kim Dotcom, was released on bail in New Zealand today after the court was satisfied the police had seized his personal fortune in order to ensure he did not flee the country. 

He has been in custody since his arrest on January 19, and was initially denied bail due to being considered a serious flight risk. As he left the Auckland court, he spoke to reporters briefly saying "I am relieved to go home to see my family, my three little kids and my pregnant wife. [..] And I hope you understand that that is all I want to say right now."

North Shore District Court Judge Nevin Dawson released him after making sure the MegaUpload founder had all assets of monetary value seized and being convinced he wasn’t hiding any money or assets that could help him flee. The Judge pointed out that the previous refusal for bail and rejection of the subsequent appeal were made when the exact assets and financial position of Dotcom was unknown.

"Since that time, all known assets have been seized and are unavailable for Mr. Dotcom's use or disposal," the judge said. "No new assets or accounts of any significance have been revealed since his arrest. Mr. Dotcom's submission that he has not concealed any assets or bank accounts has largely been borne out."

Supporting Dotcom’s claims was an affidavit from Bonnie Lam, the Hong Kong MegaUpload chief financial officer that supported the founder’s claims that he has no resources of value available to him.

When asked how he felt he had been treated since his arrest, he responded, "it felt a little bit like an audition to American Idol."

Dotcom and several co-workers are currently facing extradition to the US on charges of conspiring to commit racketeering and copyright infringement. Interestingly, the extradition hearing was scheduled to start today, but US officials have yet to even file the paperwork with the court, a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia claimed when speaking to CNet. The US has until March 2 to file or Dotcom is likely to walk free.

Representatives for the US Attorney’s Office have declined to comment on the court's decision.




User Comments: 8

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

all this stuff seems fishy...seems that he is going to be sacrificed in front of all the world ensuring that no one will do the same ever again, and no one can change the rules of the way that the USA goverment rules the world.

Mindwraith said:

i really can't stand this guy.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

This news to be followed by a sudden rise in stolen Ascot ties as "Dotcom" tries to rebuild his fortune...

Tygerstrike said:

@ Guest 9:59

The US was only 1 of MANY countries who were involved in the investigation. Canada and Germany were just 2 off the top of my head. You cant sit there and make such a generic comment about the US ruleing the world. US may have spearheaded the investigation but other countries agreed with the indictment. You can call it ruleing the world, but the world seemed to agree that what Mr. .Com was doing was illegal. In fact the file sharing was only a small part of what he was arrested for. He had many other charges filed against him.

Maybe read a bit more...........

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Tygerstrike said:

@ Guest 9:59

The US was only 1 of MANY countries who were involved in the investigation. Canada and Germany were just 2 off the top of my head. You cant sit there and make such a generic comment about the US ruleing the world. US may have spearheaded the investigation but other countries agreed with the indictment. You can call it ruleing the world, but the world seemed to agree that what Mr. .Com was doing was illegal. In fact the file sharing was only a small part of what he was arrested for. He had many other charges filed against him.

Maybe read a bit more...........

Any sources, I though it was only US and New Zealand involved, but then again I didn't read into it that much ^^ Also no BBC, mainstream media always spins the truth and adjusts it.

Guest said:

even with other countries involved on this...its weird that this comes the next day after left the SOPA without spoon...and its about the copyright thing and music that the companies fear....the ilegality of this guy its one thing but the FBI act involves the whole world itself so....why is so important this dot com guy? i mean, he is not osama bin laden or the next hitler , they dont they need less acts than showing off to make him pay, this is about money and corporations its like digital petroleum

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

This news to be followed by a sudden rise in stolen Ascot ties as "Dotcom" tries to rebuild his fortune...

I wouldn't be surprised if we get another news of retaliation by a group of Anonymous Hacktivists..

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Sweet. Hopefully he gets back number 1 spot in mw3 sometime this year lol.

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