UPDATE: Kim Dotcom to appeal after being refused bail in NZ

Article – BusinessDesk

Jan. 25 (BusinessDesk) – Kim Dotcom is to appeal after being refused bail by a New Zealand judge who decided there was a significant risk of flight.

UPDATE: Kim Dotcom to appeal after being refused bail in New Zealand

(Updated to include appeal and PM’s comments)

Jan. 25 (BusinessDesk) – Kim Dotcom is to appeal after being refused bail by a New Zealand judge who decided there was a significant risk of flight.

His lawyer Paul Davison QC said Dotcom will appeal the decision. His next court appearance is on Feb. 22.

Prime Minister John Key told media in Wellington Dotcom met the immigration tests for residency, which rely on a person’s criminal record, but that there seemed to be a potential anomaly with overseas investment law, which can focus on a person’s conviction and has asked for official advice on the matter.

Because Dotcom’s convictions were wiped by Germany’s clean slate provisions, he had a clear record, though he still had convictions.

In the North Shore District Court Judge David McNaughton today said it was impossible for him to determine at this early stage if the US government has a strong case in alleging a Mega Conspiracy or if Dotcom has a good defence.

“All I can say if that there appears to be an arguable defence in respect of the breach of copyright charges and no doubt very considerable resources will be brought to bear both for the prosecution and defence should the matter proceed to trial.”

The judge gave no weight to a so-called deportation of the accused from Thailand in 2002 or to the idea that he planned to return to Hong Kong for the birth of twins his wife is carrying.

But he noted Dotcom would be safe from extradition to the US if he travelled to Germany.

The risk of reoffending was seen as neutral with respect to the bail application.

Dotcom’s business has been shutdown in the US and his bank accounts have been frozen. He has disclosed an account with $300,000 in it as a sign of good faith.

“While the US government’s argument on flight risk in general is not as strong as initially suggested nonetheless I am left in a position that there is a risk and it is a significant risk,” McNaughton said.

(BusinessDesk)

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