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Dotcom bail survives appeal, extradition hearing in August

Megaupload kingpin seeks $NZ220k per month expenses

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Accused Megaupload copyright conspiracy leader Kim Dotcom (formerly Schmitz) has been released on bail following hearings yesterday in which the FBI tried to keep him behind bars.

Leg-roped to an electronic monitor, Dotcom will be subject to strict bail conditions, with the court considering him a continuing “flight risk”. The NZ government entered a crown appeal on behalf of the US government to try and reverse a decision last week granting him bail, but this was rejected.

New Zealand Business Review has published his bail conditions here. Dotcom is to remain at his Coatesville address, has had to surrender his passport, and is denied all forms of Internet access.

The leader of what the US government calls the “Mega Conspiracy” had, in a separate hearing, asked an NZ court to release a breathtaking $NZ220,000 per month from his seized assets for living expenses, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Instead, the court has released a paltry $NZ32,650, to be eked out over the next three weeks, along with use of one of his cars (a Toyota Vellfire van). Cash ($NZ10,000) and a Mercedes were also released to Bram Van der Kolk, who was arrested along with Dotcom in the January raids.

The arrests and the closure of Megaupload followed an investigation by the FBI into the company’s alleged copyright violations. ®

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