29 May 2012

Bail conditions relaxed for Kim Dotcom

10:10 pm on 29 May 2012

Internet millionaire Kim Dotcom says a police raid on his home and investigation into his website have been a grotesque over-reaction and is confident all charges against him will be dropped.

The co-founder of file-sharing site Megaupload is facing extradition to the United States, along with three other men, on charges relating to what is described as the world's biggest copyright case.

On Tuesday, a New Zealand judge ruled that Mr Dotcom's bail conditions should be relaxed, allowing him and his family to return to their rented mansion near Auckland.

Judge David Harvey told the Auckland District Court he believes it is unlikely that Mr Dotcom will flee New Zealand, saying the original flight risk was overstated and he no longer needs to be electronically monitored.

Judge Harvey says Mr Dotcom and his co-accused have abided by all their bail conditions.

Mr Dotcom, a German national who has New Zealand residency, told Radio New Zealand on Tuesday he should never have been charged and believes he will be cleared of any wrong-doing.

"The founders of Megaupload should not be held accountable for the actions of third parties of people uploading content, uploading their files to a website that was a cloud storage site."

Mr Dotcom said the relaxed bail conditions would allow him to visit his lawyers more easily and prepare for the extradition hearing, set down for August.

Megaupload was indicted in a federal court in the US state of Virginia on 19 January this year and the site was shut down. Mr Dotcom and his co-accused were arrested in Auckland the following day.