Megaupload founder gets uncuffed
Allowed to record album and wait at home for extradition
Notorious Megaupload.com kingpin Kim Dotcom has been relieved of his electronic monitoring cuffs and is returning to graze in his NZ$30 million mansionette rental in suburban Auckland.
Dotcom is on bail awaiting an extradition hearing to the US. He and his co-accused, Mathias Ortmann, Fin Batato and Bram Van der Kolk are embroiled in a US-centric file sharing saga dubbed a ‘Mega Conspiracy’, concerning allegations that his file-sharing website generated in excess of $175 million in criminal proceeds from pirated content.
Judge David Harvey told the Auckland District Court this week that it is unlikely that Dotcom will flee New Zealand. He ruled that the original flight risk was overstated and he no longer needs to be electronically monitored.
Last week Dotcom's defence team filed a motion requesting that he be allowed to move back into the property with his wife Mona and their children.
At a court appearance last week bail conditions were also altered for him to spend more time at Neil Finn’s recording studio where he is recording his own album.
The extradition hearing is scheduled for August.
New Zealand press report that Ortmann, Batato and Van der Kol are also no longer subject to electronic monitoring. ®
Where's he going to go, he's safest in New Zealand. If he came to the UK he'd be on the first rendition express to the US.
Our Judges won't stand up to the US, for our own, he'd have no chance here.
FBI still took evidence from NZ illegally, NZ police still did a ganster type raid full of black opps and extra octane. If NZ politicians have their way, they will still be happily bending over for the US of A. Soon they'll sign the TPM free trade agreement and the US will be able to come over and do what ever they like.
I have no doubt the guy is morally bankrupt, that is the way to succeed in business and banking these days. It is just that some US companies that apparently own the US govt don't like the game when it is played against them.
So I hope he walks away with a huge cheque from the US for their trouble.
Extradition may never happen
Given that the US judge handling the case involving MegaUpload asserts that may never happen - because the US authorities never served papers, in turn because constitutionally they can't on a foreign company - it seems entirely possible he may never be extradited at all.
NZ law requires that the extraditable offence carry a minimum period (five years) custodial sentence. The remaining ones don't.