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Bail conditions tightened for MegaUpload founder

By | Published on Monday 17 November 2014

Kim Dotcom

MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom is facing a number of new temporary conditions to his bail following some significant developments in his long-running battle with the US authorities, which want to extradite him from New Zealand to face criminal copyright proceedings relating to his former business venture back in the States.

Dotcom’s full extradition hearing has been long long delayed – it’s nearly three years since his controversial file-transfer business was shut down by the US authorities – and the whole thing will now be subject to further delays after the former MegaUpload chief’s New Zealand legal team bailed on his case last week.

Dotcom’s American attorney, Ira Rothken, has admitted that leading New Zealand law firm Simpson Grierson and barrister Paul Davison QC withdrawing from his client’s case poses a “difficult challenge”. Dotcom’s extradition hearing has been pushed back again as a result of this latest development, to next June, though Rothken reckons that that won’t be enough time for whoever the Mega team appoint to replace their former New Zealand legal reps to prepare.

Meanwhile, earlier today a court put new restrictions on Dotcom amidst reports that he is accused of breaking previous bail conditions. According to local media reports, the Auckland District Court has banned Dotcom from travelling more than 80km from his home, and from using helicopters or boats, plus he’ll have to report to police on a daily basis. Torrentfreak reckons that prosecutors have actually called for Dotcom to be jailed again pending extradition, based on the bail term breach allegations, a proposal that will be considered by a judge next week.

Linking to reports on the new bail conditions forced upon him, and possibly also alluding to the loss of his New Zealand legal reps, his unsuccessful political adventures, and having to cut ties with his new Mega and Baboom businesses to assure their success, Dotcom tweeted yesterday: “This year was a total disaster. I have taken many punches. But I won’t break. I will keep going through this hell for my kids. Count on it”.

By comparison, news last week that Dotcom’s own account on the Mega platform had been terminated, seemingly after a prankster kept filing fake copyright takedown notices against his account, probably isn’t concerning the Mega man too much.