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Mega chief to make second bid for bail

By | Published on Thursday 2 February 2012

Kim Schmitz

MegaUpload boss Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz will be back in court tomorrow in another bid to secure bail, according to the AFP. A legal rep for the larger than life Mega chief confirmed to the news agency that his client would appeal the decision made by a New Zealand judge last week to refuse Schmitz bail.

As previously reported, Schmitz was arrested with three of his business associates in New Zealand last month at the request of the American authorities, who accuse the Mega execs of mass copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering. The US is now going through the motions to extradite the accused.

Some of Schmitz’s colleagues were bailed pending their extradition hearings, but the judge handling the case said there was a risk the overall Mega chief might try to flee the country, most likely in a bid to return to his home nation of Germany, where it would be much harder for the US to extradite him. All of which means Schmitz remains behind bars.

But his lawyers will have another go at securing bail tomorrow. They are likely to again claim that Schmitz could not flee because his passport has been seized and bank accounts frozen. Prosecutors have expressed concerns that the Mega man might have access to other secret funds, while the judge said he suspected the defendant had criminal connections who may be able to help him leave New Zealand.

Defence attorneys are also likely to point out tomorrow that Schmitz’s family remains in New Zealand, and that he is on medication for diabetes and hypertension, and that being incarcerated may exasperate those medical conditions.

It remains to be seen if any of that washes in court second time round.