Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom will have to wait for bail decision


Internet guru and founder of Megaupload.com, Kim Schmitz, also known as "Kim Dotcom", is escorted by a policeman as he appears in an Auckland district court in New Zealand. (AFP/Getty Images)
January 23, 2012

Kim Dotcom will remain in custody at least temporarily after a New Zealand judge delayed a decision on whether the founder of the file-sharing site Megaupload.com should be permitted to be released on bail, according to published media reports.

At a hearing Monday in Auckland, New Zealand, Dotcom denied that he is guilty of the Internet piracy charges he is facing in the United States. The New Zealand Herald reports that Dotcom’s attorney, Paul Davidson, argued that his client should be eligible for bail because “he is not a person who is inherently motivated to disappear or breach conditions. There is no flight risk.”

Ultimately, Reuters reported, the judge wanted more time to make his decision about the request, “given the breadth of issues covered in this bail application and the seriousness of the issues.” The judge said his final decision would come no later than Wednesday.

FBI officials are seeking to have Dotcom and three of his cohorts extradited to the United States, where they would face charges of Internet piracy and money laundering. The charges are related to the file-sharing Web site Megaupload.com, which was shut down Jan. 20 as part of the indictment.

Shortly after news spread of the Justice Department’s action, that federal agency’s Web site went down, as did the site of Universal Music. The outages were a result of a cyberattack from the informal hacking collective known as Anonymous, which went after the sites in retaliation for the crackdown on Megaupload.

Related stories:

Filesonic cuts file sharing

Federal authorities shut down popular file-sharing Web site

FAQ: What is Megaupload?

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.
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