updated 07:00 pm EST, Tue February 21, 2012
Megaupload CEO allowed bail, has no funds to flee
Jailed Megaupload chief Kim Dotcom, after being denied bail time and time again, has now left a prison in New Zealand. The decision came after Judge Nevin Dawson ruled Dotcom didn't have access to funds that would allow him to leave the country. All of his financial resources were seized and the Judge said it was "highly unlikely" that he had other resources to draw from.
Four newly discovered bank accounts in the Philippines belonging to Dotcom were found empty. What also made the decision easier is that Finland and Germany, potential destinations for Dotcom who has a citizenship in each, have treaties in place with the US that would allow him to be prosecuted.
Dotcom was deemed to be highly disorganized in terms of finances, with police finding dozens of expired credit cards when they raided his mansion.
The conditions of Dotcom's bail included no access to the Internet, no helicopters traveling to his property, staying within a 50-mile radius of the property, and giving police 24 hours of notice any time he needs to leave the property, unless it's for a medical emergency.
Dotcom's lawyer called the restriction to the Internet unrealistic, as its was a key form of communication needed to prepare his defense in the US. Still, it was upheld, as the prosecution argued the illegal file-sharing site may be put back up, and in a jurisdiction where the US may not be able to shut it down.
Dotcom was arrested along with Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato, who have been bailed. Their next court appearance will relate to their extradition to the US. The Megaupload site was shut down in mid-January. [via Stuff]