MegaUpload founder and CEO Kim Dotcom has again been denied bail by a New Zealand court, after his appeal to the High Court was rejected over fears he might abscond to avoid extradition. The appeals judge agreed with a lower court decision in late January that Dotcom – who has a track record of avoiding arrest, as well as multiple passports and bank accounts – was highly likely to flee the country to Germany, where he would be safe from extradition to the US. Dotcom protested that he wanted to spend time with his pregnant wife, Reuters reports, as well as alleging that he had been mistreated by police during his arrest.
“I will not run away. I want to fight these allegations on a level playing field. I have three little children. My wife is pregnant with twins. I just want to be with them” Dotcom told the court, going on to point out that his assets had been frozen and at least some of the multiple passports seized during the raid.
As for his arrest, Dotcom has made claims of unnecessary brutality by police involved. “I was punched in the face, I was kicked down on the floor,” the outspoken exec says, “one guy was standing on my hands … it was bleeding.” He also says he has received “funny visits” while in jail, including one from a man claiming to be a prosecutor and suggesting he could, if discretely paid, arrange for a bail hearing in Dotcom’s favor.
“The judge correctly concluded that the risk of flight cannot be mitigated by the imposition of conditions, including electronic monitoring” prosecutor Anne Toohey said of the High Court decision. The FBI is believed to have infected MegaUpload computers with a spyware tool that recorded Skype IM logs among other traffic, as part of a five year evidence collection campaign.