MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has been finally granted bail by New Zealand courts, after a court decided the outspoken internet activist lacked sufficient funds to flee the country and avoid extradition to face US charges. Still, while District Court Judge Nevin Dawson deemed Dotcom safe enough to be released from jail, he also imposed some stringent limitations, 3 News reports, including no access to the internet, an electronic ankle bracelet and a block on helicopters onto the property where he is staying.
Dotcom has been bailed to a house in the grounds of the mansion he and his family had been living in prior to his arrest, though the conditions of that bail mean he is not allowed to actually enter that mansion. The property itself was found to contain no shortage of luxury goods; among the collective haul seized during the raid on MegaUpload execs were eighteen luxury vehicles and numerous computers.
The US government’s legal team had been pushing for Dotcom to remain behind bars, claiming he had a history of attempting to avoid arrest. However, the judge failed to be convinced by their arguments about his financial freedom. “The factors relating to flight risk are not now of such concern that there remains just cause to remand Mr Dotcom in custody” Judge Dawson concluded. “Once satisfactory bail conditions are in place they will alleviate remaining concerns about his flight risk.”
Dotcom had applied for bail three times, and said in a statement that “I’m relieved to go home and see my family, my little kids, and my pregnant wife, and I hope you understand that that’s all I want to say right now. I just want to go home and see my family.”
The extradition hearing is expected to take place in August, and last roughly three weeks. Dotcom and his colleagues are accused of knowingly enabling and profiting from pirated content; others involved in the case had been bailed some weeks previous.