Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom released on bail
WELLINGTON - The Associated Press
The founder of file-sharing website Megaupload Kim Dotcom (L), a German national also known as Kim Schmitz, leaves a court in Auckland, in this still image taken from video February 22, 2012. REUTERS photoThe founder of the file-sharing website Megaupload was granted bail and released yesterday after a New Zealand judge determined that authorities have seized any funds he might have used to flee the country.
Kim Dotcom, who U.S. authorities allege facilitated millions of illegal downloads through his company, has been in custody since his arrest Jan. 20.
Magila Annandale, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice, said the ministry was seeking details on the conditions of Dotcom’s release. District courts in New Zealand typically do not require a monetary bond when granting bail.
U.S. authorities claim Megaupload cost movie makers and songwriters some half a billion dollars in lost copyright revenue. They are trying to extradite Dotcom and three of his colleagues on racketeering charges.
New Zealand authorities have seized millions of dollars in investments and assets owned by Dotcom, including luxury cars and artworks.