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Kim Dotcom bail hearing continues

By | Published on Friday 28 November 2014

Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom is a flight risk according to prosecutors in New Zealand, who today continued in their bid to have the often controversial founder of defunct file-transfer business MegaUpload put back behind bars.

As previously reported, Dotcom, who was bailed shortly after the US authorities swooped in to shut down the MegaUpload platform and company in 2012, is still fighting extradition to the US where he would face criminal charges of money laundering and copyright infringement, all relating to his former business.

While America’s extradition attempts continue to rumble on nearly three years later, it emerged earlier this month that prosecutors in Dotcom’s adopted home country of New Zealand were seeking to have the MegaUpload man put back into prison over allegations he had broken the conditions of his bail. Further restrictions were put in place on Dotcom’s movements around the country as a result of the complaint, pending this week’s hearing.

According to The Age, earlier today prosecutors said that Dotcom had associated with his former MegaUpload colleagues in 2012 in direct breach of his bail terms. New Zealand prosecutors also questioned – as have the US authorities, movie studios and record labels – how Dotcom has been able to invest in new businesses, set up a political party, live a seemingly lavish lifestyle and hire the services of expensive legal experts given all his assets relating to MegaUpload were meant to have been seized in 2012.

Dotcom’s opponents think he has access to hidden funds that stemmed from the MegaUpload empire. Or in the prosecutor’s words earlier today: “The court cannot take Mr Dotcom at his word regarding finances”. The prosecution think that Dotcom seemingly having access to funds of unknown origin mean he probably has the means to flee if and when it looks like America’s extradition application will be successful.

Dotcom’s reps argue that monies their client has spent since 2012 stem from his income post-MegaUpload. As for the bail breach, his legal man in court said that the term regarding contacting other MegaUpload execs was only in place for a few months after his client’s original arrest and besides, there was no evidence he had, in fact, breached that condition.

The case will now continue on Monday when it is thought the judge will make a decision regarding extending or withdrawing Dotcom’s bail.

As also previously reported, Dotcom himself says that the US authorities have left him penniless because of the costs of fighting legal battles on various fronts, and prosecutors have deliberately chosen now – just as his core legal team in New Zealand stand down due to Dotcom’s depleted funds – to try and have his bail revoked.