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Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom denied bail; stays in jail

Megaupload's founder will be staying in jail, at least for the time being. NZHerald reports that today Judge David McNaughton denied a request for bail for Kim Dotcom, who was arrested along with three other Megaupload team members on Thursday. The reasons for the judge's decision have yet to be revealed.

Dotcom was arrested at his rented (but massive) New Zealand-based mansion last week, the same day that the US government shut down the Megaupload file sharing web site and charged Dotcom and six other team members for online piracy of copyrighted material. At a court hearing earlier this week, Dotcom, via his lawyer, denied "any criminal misconduct or wrongdoing."

Prosecutors in the case said that Dotcom should be denied bail since there he likely could get access to funds, as well as access to a plane that could take him out of New Zealand. US officials want to extradite Dotcom back to the US to face the piracy charges. Dotcom's defense attorneys denied that Dotcom was a flight risk, saying that all of his passports had been seized and that he could not get access to his funds.

The other three Megaupload team members currently in custody in New Zealand, Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato and Mathias Ortman, will have their bail hearings tomorrow.

Update: The judge has given his reasons for denying bail to Dotcom, claiming that he could flee New Zealand via forged passports and hidden funds. Dotcom will appeal the judge's ruling.

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