Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Dotcom 'in danger' of bail breach

Legal risk in new file-sharing site.

Kim Dotcom. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Kim Dotcom. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Kim Dotcom is down - and United States prosecutors are taking steps to make sure he is out for good.

They have signalled they will fight the Megaupload founder trying to restart his business, even suggesting the multi-millionnaire will be breaching his New Zealand bail conditions if he launches a new file-sharing service.

In a court motion filed by the US Department of Justice this week, attorney Neil MacBride warned Dotcom could face further charges if he went ahead.

MacBride cited a January bail application affidavit in which Dotcom said there was no realistic prospect of restoring his business or "some new iteration of the site".

But Dotcom said on Twitter last month that a new website was nearing completion and lawyers, partners and investors were ready for its launch.

MacBride questioned whether Dotcom had intentionally misled the New Zealand courts to secure his release on bail.

"Defence counsel's claim that the corporate defendant can and should be allowed to operate undermines the sworn statements of Dotcom that he has no plans or ability to continue to operate or fund the businesses in the indictment during pendency of the extradition process."

But Dotcom's US lawyer, Ira Rothken, said the suggestion his client had misled the New Zealand courts was baseless.

"It's a serious allegation, but we believe it is an ignorant allegation and they're basing it upon absolute speculation."

Rothken said he did not know Dotcom's business intentions, he was innocent of the current charges and any relaunch of Megaupload in the US would need judicial approval anyway.

- Herald on Sunday

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