Kim Dotcom remains on bail

Megaupload millionaire Kim Dotcom's release on bail has been upheld. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Megaupload millionaire Kim Dotcom's release on bail has been upheld. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Internet millionaire Kim Dotcom will remain on bail until his extradition hearing in August, a judge has ruled.

Giving his decision in the High Court at Auckland today, Justice Tim Brewer said he agreed with a North Shore District Court judge's decision to allow the Megaupload founder bail.

In his decision, delivered this afternoon, Justice Brewer said Dotcom's electronic bail went some way to mitigating the risk he would flee, and while he was not certain Dotcom would not leave the country, the law did not require him to be certain.

The Crown, on behalf of the US Government, yesterday appealed the decision to grant the German millionaire bail, saying he was still a flight risk.

The 38-year-old is accused of breaching international copyright laws to the value of US$500 million through the company he founded - file-sharing site Megaupload - in what US prosecutors allege was a "mega conspiracy''.

The FBI wants to extradite Dotcom and three associates to the US in August to face charges including conspiring to commit racketeering, conspiring to commit money-laundering, copyright infringement and aiding and abetting copyright infringement.

He strongly denies any wrongdoing and has consistently said he would not try to leave NZ.

The millionaire German has had millions of dollars in assets seized by authorities. He and his associates were arrested in a raid at his $30m rented mansion at Coatesville.

Last week when he was released on bail, Dotcom said he was relieved to be going home to his wife and children.

An extradition hearing is due to be held in August.

It was also revealed today that Dotcom and his wife are seeking more than $200,000 a month to cover living expenses, including bodyguards, nannies and a personal assistant.

Dotcom and three New Zealand-based associates are on electronic bail while facing charges, laid by United States prosecutors, relating to the Megaupload website.

A total of seven men involved in the file-sharing website face charges including conspiring to commit racketeering, conspiring to commit money-laundering, copyright infringement and aiding and abetting copyright infringement.

Mr Dotcom and his wife, Mona Dotcom, are seeking to free up money from a restraining order to cover living expenses estimated at $220,465.56 per month.

The expenses include ongoing staff costs of $29,000 a month, which covers general staff, nannies, a butler and Mrs Dotcom's personal assistant.

The couple also say they rack up power bills of $8500 in power and gas, and landline phone costs of $5000 per month, said Crown Prosecutor Anne Toohey.

The pair are seeking to free up the money from a RaboBank account under Dotcom's name containing $300,000.

Initial negotiations on February 9 indicated the couple would need $10,000 a month to live, said Ms Toohey.

The hearing continues this afternoon, with counsels representing Mr Dotcom and Mrs Dotcom due to give their arguments.

The issue of whether Dotcom's heavily pregnant wife may have been involved in the company has also been raised today.

Ms Toohey said she had received a preliminary application from the United States last night saying that "Mrs Dotcom could have been involved in the company.''

She was now waiting on more information from the United States, which she expected to arrive tonight.

"I would hope that I could do that again overnight. That's their working time but sometimes there is a delay ... in getting information from them.

"I would hope that they are working on it now.''

She said she wished to clarify the application with the United States prosecutors.

A copy of the preliminary application had been handed to both Judge Judith Potter and Mrs Dotcom's lawyer.

The matter has been stood down while the issue of foreign restraining orders on properties were dealt with at the hearing.

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