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Dotcom's anxious wait for bail ruling

Published: 6:08AM Wednesday February 29, 2012 Source: ONE News

It has been an anxious wait for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom to find out if he is going to be sent back to prison.

The High Court judge hearing the appeal against a decision to grant the internet millionaire bail has reserved his decision until this afternoon.

Dotcom was granted electronic bail last Wednesday in the North Shore District Court after having it previously denied for posing too great a risk of leaving the country.

The Crown, on behalf of the US Government, argued yesterday that there is a very real risk that Dotcom still has access to offshore funds.

But Dotcom's lawyer Paul Davison QC said there is no evidence of this, so his client's flight risk remains low. He said it would make no sense for Dotcom to leave his family or assets behind.

As part of his bail conditions, Dotcom is fitted with an electronic bracelet and is not allowed to use the internet or travel more than 80 kilometres from the property.

Dotcom and three others were arrested in January after police raided his rented mansion in Coatesville at the request of the FBI. Police cut Dotcom out of a safe room he had barricaded himself in.

Mathias Ortmann, Bran van der Kolk and Finn Batato, who were also arrested, have already been granted bail.

The German national faces extradition to the US for his role in megaupload.com, which US Federal prosecutors say has cost copyright holders more than $620 million in revenue lost through pirated material.

More charges of copyright infringement and fraud were brought against Dotcom and several of his associates by US authorities on February 18.

Dotcom was originally charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two substantive counts of copyright infringement.

Dotcom says he is preparing to fight the charges against him before his extradition hearing in August.

He denies any wrongdoing and consistently says he will not try to leave the country.

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