No bail for Kim Dotcom
Wed, 25 Jan 2012 11:17a.m.
By 3 News online staff
Megaupload founder and internet piracy accused Kim Dotcom has been remanded in custody until February 22.
The 38-year-old’s bid for bail was declined and Dotcom – real name Kim Schmidtz – will face an extradition hearing next month.
A large group of his supporters filled the public gallery in the North Shore District Court to hear Judge David McNaughton deliver his decision this morning.
It is not yet known why bail was declined, however prosecutor Anne Toohey had argued Dotcom was an "extreme" flight risk as he had access to large amounts of money, held three passports in different names and had been deported from Thailand in 2010.
Dotcom has been in custody since Friday morning, when he and three associates were arrested during an extensive police raid at the 38-year-old’s Coatesville home, north of Auckland.
The four men, of which two are New Zealand residents, including Dotcom, are accused of racketeering, money laundering and internet copyright piracy in the United States amounting to $175 million in criminal proceeds.
The other three accused were remanded in custody pending a bail hearing later this week.
The US government is seeking to extradite the men to face charges in Virginia.
Judge McNaughton said the outcome of today's hearing would affect the bail decision for the other accused.
The accused do not face charges in New Zealand but local police have been aiding the FBI with investigations since August last year.
More than $17 million worth of assets have been seized from Dotcom's home by police, including two pistols.
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25/01/2012 4:46:56 p.m.
Another classic case of NZ authorities bowing to pressure. We saw it displayed with two French Govt. agents who were guilty of pre-meditated murder walking free back in 1980's. Remember, we're dealing with a judiciary that sees fit to grant child molesters name suppression and a slap on the wrist because they make us laugh. Yet again, NZ is the joke here . . . not Kim Dotcom.
25/01/2012 1:45:04 p.m.
How about the police explain why they had the armed offenders squad roping down from a helicopter at this guys mansion and what justification they had for use of armed officers.
25/01/2012 1:20:59 p.m.
It's possible he would want to hang out in style in another country, work on rebuilding or licensing megaupload technology, while his lawyers plead his case in the US
25/01/2012 12:55:40 p.m.
Flight risk? some how i dont believe it, more of a case of wanting to keep him locked up for the sake of it.
25/01/2012 11:29:33 a.m.
Sorry - I can't find any connection between "flight risk" and having been deported from Thailand - explain please...
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