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Thursday, February 2, 2012

MegaUpload Case Appeal Launched

It looks like the situation with the seized cyberlocker becomes tense: MegaUpload’s owner Kim Dotcom’s request for bail has been denied again – this is for the 3rd time in just a week, according to press reports. One of the largest file-sharing services was shut down by the US authorities recently, and some of its members were arrested. Judge David McNaughton handed down the ruling last Wednesday as he considers Dotcom a liability, because of his past tendencies of fleeing justice. Judge also said that MegaUpload’s founder might try to make his way to Germany (because that’s where he was born), so the extradition would be impossible as Germany has no agreement with the US.

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Judge McNaughton finally agreed with prosecutor Anne Toohey, who has described the MegaUpload’s founder as a “considerable” flight risk and denied his bail once again, ordering that he’d be kept in custody for another month. Of course, Kim’s lawyer, Paul Davidson, has already filed an appeal to the High Court. He insisted that his client was hopeful that the judge would accept his intentions and his arguments and realize that there was no risk whatsoever of Dotcom seeking to leave the country. Indeed, all of Kim’s money has been frozen, along with all of his resources. In New Zealand he lives with his wife and family, so he can’t have an intention whatsoever of endeavoring to leave the country.

Apart from Kim Dotcom, three of his suspected co-conspirators were also present in court last Wednesday. They are Finn Batato, 38, Bram van der Kolk, 29, and Mathias Ortmann, 40. Their lawyer, Guy Foley, explained that these guys couldn’t enjoy the same resources as the website founder. Their representative also pointed out that in absence of a guilty verdict, all three men should have been granted the presumption of innocence. However, the prosecutor didn’t want to grant them bail either, and there was a heated debate between their lawyer Guy Foley and prosecutor Anne Toohey on the question of whether all of them represent a flight liability like Dotcom or not. Both the prosecutor and the lawyer presented their arguments, and this brought to some unexpected result. The next day the judge granted bail to two of the men: Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk. However, he denied Ortmann’s bail because of financial concerns, so he and Dotcom still remain behind the bars.

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