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Dotcom granted studio access to record album

Published: 11:21AM Monday April 02, 2012 Source: ONE News

Kim Dotcom has had his bail conditions relaxed so he can record an album, access the internet and use his swimming pool.

Judge David Harvey said the internet tycoon could visit Roundhead Studios in Newton for two days a week and a maximum of four hours each visit.

Dotcom's lawyer Paul Davison told the North Shore District Court that Dotcom is part-way through a collaborative project "between himself and musicians of international standing". Dotcom has written lyrics and had cameo performances in the tracks, Davison said.

"It has been a pretty significant investment in the past and it is a shame that he's not able to see it through", he said.

The United States wants to extradite Dotcom on copyright, money laundering and racketeering charges arising from his internet business Megaupload, and he is awaiting an extradition hearing.

He is currently under house arrest at his Coatesville home, while banned from visiting the larger, neighbouring "Chrisco mansion" he rents.

Today Harvey gave Dotcom permission to use the indoor swimming pool at the mansion between the hours of 8pm and 9.30pm.

Harvey also granted Dotcom access to the internet and allowed his co-accused, Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato and Mathias Ortman, to visit Dotcom at his bail address one day a week for no longer than 6 hours at a time.

"I'm very happy to have access to the internet," Dotcom said outside court today.

"It will make it much easier for me and my co-defendants to work on the case, so that is a big relief."

Legal counsel representing the United States were concerned that relaxing his bail conditions will increase his flight risk, but Dotcom says he wants to stay in New Zealand to defend himself.

"You know I'm already out on bail for quite some time. I'm still here and I'm going to be here and see this through, all the way to the end," he said.

Dotcom's lawyer said his client simply needs the money that finishing and selling the album could bring.

"This product has the potential of providing revenue, and the respondent says 'well he doesn't need revenue we're giving him so much a month' ... but my client contends he does require an opportunity to earn some money."

Dotcom arrived at court with an entourage of 10 people, including security guard Wayne Tempero.

Tempero reappeared in the same court last Friday on two firearms charges and is on bail to next month.