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Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom granted bail

Feb. 22, 2012 at 2:59 PM   |   Comments

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A New Zealand court has granted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom bail, ruling he was not enough of a flight risk to keep him in custody.

North Shore District Judge Nevin Dawson released him Wednesday to his $4.3 million property adjacent to the larger mansion where he was arrested in January, TVNZ reported.

Dotcom and three others were arrested after police raided his rented mansion in Auckland,

Dotcom, a German national, faces extradition to the United States for his role in megaupload.com, which U.S. prosecutors allege has cost copyright holders more than $620 million in revenue

because of pirated material.

"A suspicion that because Mr. Dotcom is very wealthy means that he must have assets he has not revealed is not evidence of further assets and cannot now be used against him," Dawson said.

"The factors against him being a flight risk include that he would live his life as a fugitive, he would be abandoning his expectant wife and three children and he would effectively lose all the

considerable assets and bank accounts in a number of countries that have been seized," the judge said.

Dotcom faces charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two substantive counts of copyright infringement.

As part of his bail conditions Dotcom will be fitted with an electronic bracelet and is not allowed to use the Internet or travel more than 50 miles from his property, Dawson ruled.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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