Megaupload's Dotcom Fails to Win Bail Bid in New Zealand Court
Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Megaupload.com founder Kim Dotcom, imprisoned in New Zealand since Jan. 20 at the request of the U.S., failed to win release today after a judge declined to immediately rule on the bail bid.
North Shore District Court Judge N. R. Dawson today said he would deliver his decision before Feb. 22, according to an e- mailed statement from the court.
Dotcom, 38, is sought in the U.S. where he was indicted in the biggest copyright infringement conspiracy in the country's history. He faces charges his file-sharing website exchanged pirated film and music files worth $175 million.
North Shore District Judge David McNaughton on Jan. 25 denied Dotcom's request for bail, saying the risk of him fleeing New Zealand to a jurisdiction such as his home country of Germany, which has no extradition treaty with the U.S., was too great.
Dotcom, who legally changed his family name from Schmitz, sought to overturn that decision at a hearing today. He had earlier "emphatically" denied any criminal misconduct, in a statement to the court, according to McNaughton's ruling.
"It is submitted that this is the largest prosecution to date for infringement of copyright in the United States," McNaughton said in the ruling. "The offending is described as unprecedented and most serious."
When police arrived at Dotcom's house on Jan. 20, he activated electronic locks and sought refuge in a safe room, New Zealand police said in a statement. Police neutralized locks and cut their way into the safe room, where Dotcom was sitting cross-legged on the floor near a safe that contained a loaded shotgun.
The U.S. has 45 days from the arrest date to file a formal extradition request.
The case is Kim Dotcom v. United States of America. DCNSD [25 January 2012]. District Court at North Shore (Albany).
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