Kim Dotcom says he has no desire to flee NZ
By 3 News online staff
Kim Dotcom is in North Shore District Court today, testifying in support of his bail appeal.
The Megaupload founder was denied bail last week by Judge David McNaughton, who ruled there was a risk Dotcom would flee New Zealand.
For the first time, the German multimillionaire has spoken about what happened the day police raided his Coatesville mansion.
He says at the time of the ambush, he wasn’t aware it was the police on his property, but that he just heard heavy banging on the door.
Dotcom says he followed security procedure and went into the panic room and sat on the floor. He told the court he was frightened and didn’t want to get hurt.
Once he realised it was the police, Dotcom decided it was better to stay in the room and wait it out, than to walk out and potentially surprise police and get shot.
Dotcom described the police that entered the room as “quite aggressive” and alleges they punched him in the face, kicked him to the floor and stood on his hands.
He says he is absolutely not a flight risk and has no desire to run. He would like to fight charges “on a level playing field” and says all he really wants is to be home with his pregnant wife and children.
Dotcom also testified to having no criminal connections – aside from those he has made in prison in the previous two weeks, he joked.
He spoke of his alleged deportation from Thailand back to Germany in January 2001, whilst on holiday celebrating his birthday. He says German prosecutors decided to charge him with insider trading, that he left the country voluntarily, never appeared in court and was therefore not deported.
The internet mogul called the suspension of Megaupload without conviction or trial “the biggest disregard of basic rights in internet history”.
Dotcom, 38, faces charges of racketeering, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and criminal copyright infringement.
It is alleged he and his co-accused amassed NZ$216 million in criminal profits off the Megaupload website.
Judge McNaughton ruled last week that Dotcom was a flight risk since German law does not allow its citizens to be extradited.
Dotcom's lawyer, Paul Davison, told the media his client had no intention of trying to leave New Zealand.
Two of three others accused along with Dotcom have been granted bail – German Finn Batato, 38, and Dutch national Bram van der Kolk, 29.
Dotcom's bodyguard, Wayne Tempero, faces a charge of unlawful possession of a semi-automatic shotgun after firearms were found in the Coatesville mansion.
He says the firearms were there under Tempero's suggestion and made it clear it would only be okay "if it was legal" and that he didn't want any deadly ammunition - only bullets that would be enough to stop an attacker in his tracks.