Megaupload's Dotcom makes bail in New Zealand

Kim Dotcom, the erstwhile proprietor of the Megaupload cyberlocker service, has been freed on bail in New Zealand.Dotcom was arrested in January in an FBI-coordinated international raid on Megaupload and its staff and assets.

Kim Dotcom, the erstwhile proprietor of the Megaupload cyberlocker service, has been freed on bail in New Zealand.

Dotcom was arrested in January in an FBI-coordinated international raid on Megaupload and its staff and assets. He had twice been denied bail as his wealth and connections had apparently made him an extreme flight risk.

Kim Dotcom

Megaupload proprietor Kimm Dotcom has been released on bail in New Zealand. Screenshot: Greg Sandoval/CNET News

However, Dotcom's fortunes changed on Wednesday, when Judge Nevin Dawson accepted that the defendant's assets had all been seized, and no undisclosed funds had been found that could help him flee to his native Germany.

"I'm relieved to go home and see my three little kids and my pregnant wife," Dotcom said as he left the court, according to Reuters.

If Dotcom were to make it to Germany, he would, as a citizen of that country, be safe from extradition to the US. The US authorities are keen on getting hold of Dotcom, as he faces charges there ranging from copyright infringement to racketeering and money laundering.

Last week the US Department of Justice (DoJ) added new charges to the list, including further copyright infringement allegations — the authorities suspect Megaupload's proprietors of scraping YouTube's entire library in 2006 — and a wire fraud charge.

However, according to ZDNet UK sister site CNET News, the US is yet to file the necessary extradition paperwork. It has a deadline of 2 March to do so.

According to Reuters, Dotcom's bail conditions include house arrest, the wearing of an electronic tag and a ban on helicopters flying to or landing on the property he must stay in.

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