Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

Summary: A New Zealand judge decided that Kim Dotcom was too much of a risk to set free.

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TOPICS: New Zealand, Banking
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Kim Dotcom (far right) (Credit: 3News.co.nz/Screenshot by Jonathan Skillings/CNET)

Kim Dotcom, the New Zealand-based internet millionaire who founded Megaupload and is now at the center of what is billed as the world's biggest copyright case, was denied bail Wednesday.

Dotcom, 38, has been held in custody since armed police swooped in on his luxury $30 million Coatesville mansion on Friday.

Now the German-born businessman will be held behind bars until February 22 on charges of copyright, money laundering and conspiracy.

The FBI is seeking to extradite Dotcom to the United States, claiming that his Megaupload activities have caused US$500 million "harm" to copyright interests.

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On Monday, in the North Shore District Court in Auckland, Judge David McNaughton reserved judgment on a bail application, citing the extent of the allegations and investigations. Wednesday, McNaughton agreed with prosecution claims that Dotcom presented a flight risk, a claim denied by the defense.

"With significant determination and financial resources, flight risk remains a real and significant possibility which I cannot discount and bail is declined," McNaughton concluded in a 20-page statement issued shortly before noon New Zealand time.

The judge said it was impossible for him to determine how the extradition proceedings would go, but he noted the "less serious" copyright charges carried a maximum five-year jail term, as opposed to the maximum 20-year racketeering and money-laundering charges the US authorities allege and seek.

In his findings, the judge also noted how Dotcom possessed an unregistered firearm, suggesting links to criminal elements, which could lead to them helping with an escape.

Dotcom also had access to bank accounts, including 23 in Hong Kong, 15 with DBS Bank and eight with Citibank exceeding US$8 million under various aliases.

For more on this story, read Megaupload founder denied bail on ZDNet Australia.

Topics: New Zealand, Banking

Darren Greenwood

About Darren Greenwood

Darren Greenwood has been in journalism, not all of it IT, since the days of typewriters and long before the web spun its way around the world.

Coming from Yorkshire, he can be blunt, and though having resided in New Zealand, as well as Australia, for quite some time, he insists he is not one of the 'sheeple!'

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8 comments
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  • RE: Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

    Every time I see Dotcom, I can't help but think he looks like a Goomba from the crappy Mario Bros. movie.
    Aerowind
    • RE: Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

      @Aerowind Ouch!
      WarriorCIO
  • RE: Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

    What a joke this is ,justice by the businesses for the businesses what happened to government that was in the interest of the people after all it is their country,it's time to take bake the reins of government and make them do what the people want and not do what the highest bidder wants!!!
    wizardb9
  • RE: Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

    Any bets it was the FBI that planted the gun? Forgetting its only americians, drug dealers and terrorists that carry guns
    For only the charge of copyright violation much lower charges and not an extraditable offence. Place the gun on the scene they can up the charges and make it an extraditable offence. Just like the phony rape charge they are trying to pin on Assuage. SOP for the FBI.
    csumbler
  • RE: Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

    Any bets it was the FBI that planted the gun? Forgetting its only americians, drug dealers and terrorists that carry guns
    For only the charge of copyright violation much lower charges and not an extraditable offence. Place the gun on the scene they can up the charges and make it an extraditable offence. Just like the phony rape charge they are trying to pin on Assuage. SOP for the FBI.
    csumbler
    • RE: Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

      @csumbler the gun would have nothing to do with extradition, that would be a local crime in New Zealand, and would be prosecuted there. If anything it might delay extradition.
      Claiming it's business driven: Notice he's a millionaire, with many bank accounts under aliases, the companies he had were divided so he could claim megaupload wasn't encouraging pirating, while a separate company paid users for uploading copywrited content.
      kevinrs1
  • RE: Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

    Freedom is clearly all about the $$$$$
    mikegonzalez2k
    • RE: Megauploads' Kim Dotcom denied bail

      @mikegonzalez2k since he's a millionaire, what are you saying?
      kevinrs1