Kim Dotcom will appeal today’s decision denying him bail, his lawyer says, after being arrested on behalf of United States authorities, including the FBI, in a police raid at his $30 million Coatesville mansion.
Founder of file-sharing site Megaupload, Kim Dotcom faces extradition by US authorities, which can happen with or without his appeal. They allege that his company breached copyright laws costing copyright owners more than $500 million in what they call the “Mega Conspiracy.” The 38-year-old, who was previously convicted of hacking and insider trading, has denied any wrongdoing.
Dotcom was present in the courtroom today when judge David McNaughton stated that he posed a “significant” flight risk.
However Dotcom’s lawyer, Paul Davison, QC, said that decision would be appealed to the High Court. Davison spoke of the disappointment at the decision.
“We were hopeful that the judge would accept our intentions and our arguments and see that there was no risk whatsoever of Kim Dotcom seeking to leave New Zealand,” he said. “All of his assets have been frozen, all of his resources have been taken,” he added. “He’s living here with his wife and family, he has no intention whatsoever of endeavouring to leave New Zealand.”
Davidson said Dotcom was “very disappointed” and had instructed him to appeal the decision at the High Court. The appeal would be lodged straight away, he said. Dotcom had “health issues” which were being addressed in prison but there was “nothing adequate at this stage”. He would not specify what Dotcom required in prison.
He also didn’t comment on how Dotcom’s family, including his New Zealand-based wife who was heavily pregnant, and children, had taken the news about him having to remain in custody.
Davison said his “arguments spoke for themselves” and the judge “agreed with much of what we submitted”.
But the judge decided Dotcom was a flight risk.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that he has any criminal connections or associations at all, I don’t know where the judge got that idea,” Davison said.
Outside court, a procession of Ford vehicles awaited to collect Dotcom’s supporters, including a white Ford Territory wagon with ‘boss 260’ imprinted on the bonnet.
The judge reserved a decision on bail for three co-accused in the case until tomorrow afternoon.