26 Feb 2015

Dotcom asks court to release funds

6:01 pm on 26 February 2015

Internet businessman Kim Dotcom has asked a court to release more of his money so he can pay for his rent, legal fees and groceries.

About $12 million in assets Mr Dotcom owned at the time of his arrest three years ago have been frozen ever since.

Kim Dotcom leaving court.

Kim Dotcom Photo: RNZ

He said he was now destitute and asked the High Court in Auckland at a hearing today for some of those funds to be released.

In an affidavit he requested about $200,000 a month to cover living expenses, and between $3 and $4 million for ongoing legal fees.

The application was originally opposed by his estranged wife, Mona, but she withdrew that opposition during today's hearing.

Mr Dotcom said the only reason he had been able to remain in his Auckland mansion is because the rent has been paid in advance until April.

He also revealed he still owed his former lawyers, who quit the case late last year, about $2.5 million.

QC Paul Davison, who led Mr Dotcom's case for nearly three years, was owed $500,000, and the law firm Simpson Grierson was owed $2 million.

Mr Dotcom had been paying for groceries, petrol and other day-to-day costs from a small reserve of cash that was "so minimal" that it did not count, he said.

But Crown lawyer, David Boldt, suggested to the court that Mr Dotcom could still call upon funds in a trust controlled by Mrs Dotcom.

Mrs Dotcom was the sole appointee to the trust but had granted nearly all of Mr Dotcom's requests for funds, including donations he made to his Internet Party and the recording of Mr Dotcom's music album, Good Times.

Mr Boldt also asked Mr Dotcom whether he had considered saving costs by moving out of his mansion, which costs $1 million a year to rent.

Mr Dotcom said he did not want to move out, as his five children had grown up at the mansion and the family had also made about $9 million in improvements, which they would not be able to get back.

He said if his current financial situation continued he would have to look for alternative accommodation.

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