Dotcom now able to buy mansion
Kim Dotcom (Reuters)
Travel limits imposed after his arrest have had a notable side effect for internet millionaire Kim Dotcom - he can now buy his mansion, if he can get the money.
Dotcom's bid to the Overseas Investment Office to buy the $30 million Coatesville mansion north of Auckland was turned down in July 2011 after then-Associate Finance Minister Simon Power said he didn't meet good character requirements because of his convictions in Germany.
But New Zealand residents who have been in the country for 12 months don't have to go through the OIO, and Dotcom's bail conditions on the internet piracy charges which prevent him leaving New Zealand means he now passes that test.
"So I think that by virtue of his incarceration and his being held he will now reach an eligibility point to buy whatever he wishes as a New Zealander because he is a resident," Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson said on Thursday.
"So it may be that he will be quite soon, depending if he can get his hands on whatever the sum of money is that's involved. The media keeps saying $30 million for the Coatesville mansion.
"He will qualify as does any New Zealand citizen."
Mr Williamson said it makes no difference if the person in question was in the country of their own free will or not.
Dotcom's biggest barrier to buying the property is that his assets have been frozen since his arrest.
Dotcom, arrested in January, is fighting a United States bid to extradite him to face internet piracy charges.
The extradition hearing is due to be held next year.