Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom granted bail

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is a free man today, after a New Zealand court surprisingly granted Dotcom his bail request. NZHerald.co.nz reports that North Shore District Court Judge Nevin Dawson made the decision today, over the objections of local prosecutors.

Kim Dotcom was denied bail a month ago by a different judge, after Megaupload was shut down by US law enforcement officials on online piracy charges. At the time the judge in the case agreed with prosecutors that Dotcom was a flight risk due to the possibility of him leaving the country through other means. It was also thought that Dotcom might have some hidden funds he could use.

However, Judge Dawson said today that since the shut down of Megaupload, investigators have yet to find any evidence that Dotcom has any more money beyond what has been seized. He stated, "It would seem that he has every reason to stay (in New Zealand) to be with his family and to fight to keep his significant assets."

Prosecutors also pointed out that Dotcom had three passports under different names at his house which meant he might be a flight risk. However, the judge said there was no evidence he was using those passports illegally.

Even though he is currently a free man, Dotcom does have a number of conditions he must meet to keep with his bail agreement. He cannot use the internet or a helicopter and must not travel more than 80km from his residence.

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