MegaUpload founder released on bail

A New Zealand court has concluded Kim DotCom is not enough of a flight risk; bail has been granted.

According to media reports originating from New Zealand, the founder of MegaUpload has been released on bail after a judge concluded he was not 'enough of a flight risk'.

Kim DotCom has been held in policy custody ever since police raided his mansion in Coatesville, close to Auckland. Following a lengthy FBI investigation, it was decided that in case the file-storage service owner attempted to escape the country, his assets were seized and bail denied.

Millions of dollars, cars, artwork and other valuable property has been confiscated by the anti-terrorist police force.

Bail has previously been denied to DotCom twice, however, the latest appeal has turned in DotCom's favour.

The judge said that the police had not proved that the MegaUpload founder's remaining assets were substantial enough to allow him license to flee the country, and as such, bail has been granted. U.S. authorities maintain that the MegaUpload service has facilitated pirate activities, which in turn has cost the entertainment industry millions of dollars in lost revenue.

The reprieve of bail comes with several conditions:

  • No helicopters will be allowed to land on the premises.
  • Police forces must be notified 24 hours in advance if he chooses to leave his home.
  • There is a distance limit of 80km for travel purposes.

The MegaUpload founder has also been denied all Internet access, something that DotCom's lawyer, Paul Davison, protested heavily against. Davison argued that restricting Internet access removes a 'fundamental means of communication' and may cause communication problems between the MegaUpload founder and his defense team.

Outside court after the favourable ruling, DotCom said:

"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."

Image credit: CNet

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