Dotcom given access to NZ$6 million for legal fees and living expenses

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A New Zealand court has granted MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom access to an additional NZ$6 million ($4.84 million) in addition to the NZ$750,000 he was granted previously in order to pay legal fees, living costs and rent for his estate just outside Auckland. His legal fees total NZ$2.6 million thus far and will no doubt balloon over the course of his trial.

The money is being secured against a NZ$10 million government bond Dotcom owns. The Internet tycoon is also being allowed to sell some of his luxury vehicles although money from the rides will be withheld until a court decides how those funds can be used.

Dotcom’s car collection was seized as part of the raid on his estate back in January at the request of the US government. He is being permitted to sell nine vehicles from the stable: a Rolls-Royce Coupe, two Mini Coopers, a Toyota Hilux and five AMG class Mercedes Benz luxury cars.

The US government is attempting to extradite Dotcom over claims that his file storage site collected roughly $175 million since 2005. Officials say he and others encouraged members to share copyrighted material while Dotcom maintains the site was simply an online storage locker. He has also accused Hollywood of lobbying the US government to come after him.

Last month a New Zealand court determined the raid on Dotcom’s home and seizure of property was illegal. An appeal from those representing the US has been scheduled for next month while an extradition trial is set for March 2013.

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