updated 07:55 am EST, Fri February 3, 2012
Kim Dotcom fails in bid to get out of NZ jail
Kim Dotcom, founder and chief of Megaupload has lost his appeal to be released on bail. Following a NZ court's decision to remand Dotcom in custody pending an extradition hearing, Dotcom's legal team appealed to the NZ High Court to overturn the original decision. However, the High Court concurred with the original ruling on the grounds that Dotcom had the means to be able to flee the country.
Prosecutors once again successfully argued that Dotcom holds passports and bank accounts in three names and a previous track record of dodging criminal charges. While Dotcom's lawyers had offered to have their client electronically tagged and monitored, the prosecution argued that someone with Dotcom's background would find a way to circumvent it.
Dotcom's lawyers stated that he denied the charges that Megaupload had profited from pirating activities of its customers and that he would fight any attempt be extradited to the US. Dotcom added that he had absolutely no intention of fleeing the country as his wife is pregnant and that he wants to regain control of assets that have been seized and accounts that have been frozen since the case broke. The extradition hearing remains set for February 22.
Megaupload was taken down by the FBI on January 19 while agents investigated its file hosting service providers, Cogent Communications and Carpathia Hosting. With agency threats that all user content uploaded to the site also faced deletion, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has intimated that it might take legal action to protect the data of the 'innocent third parties' that used the site legitimately and remain the owners of the content uploaded.
'Many of these materials are property of the individuals involved, and they are legally entitled not only to access but to preservation and privacy,' argued EFF's Cindy Cohn.
'We are hopeful that our client and other third parties can obtain access to their material without resorting to legal action, but if that is not the case, we intend to take the necessary steps to ensure the return of their materials.' [via BBC]