Dotcom relieved to get bail

By Sarah Robson, NZ Newswire Updated February 22, 2012, 3:36 pm

Kim Dotcom is looking forward to reuniting with his family after spending a month in prison.

Dotcom, the 38-year-old founder of file-sharing website Megaupload, was granted bail in the North Shore District Court on Wednesday.

On his release, he told media outside the court that he just wants to go home.

"I am relieved to go home to see my family, my three little kids and my pregnant wife. I hope you understand that's all I want to say right now."

Dotcom has been held in custody since a spectacular police raid on his $30-million mansion north of Auckland on January 20.

He and three co-accused face charges in the US of racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.

Dotcom had previously been denied bail on the grounds he presented an "extreme flight risk", but Judge Nevin Dawson said this was no longer a sufficient concern to keep Dotcom in custody.

The Crown has indicated it will appeal the bail decision.

Meanwhile, it will be six months before a hearing to extradite Dotcom, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, gets under way.

In a separate hearing at the same court, it was told that the United States government is yet to file the necessary extradition papers.

They must be filed by March 5, in line with provisions in the extradition treaty between New Zealand and the US.

The four accused have been remanded until August 20, which is the provisional start date for the extradition hearing, which could take three weeks.

Dotcom's defence lawyer Paul Davison QC says now the issue of bail has been resolved, the need to get the extradition hearing under way isn't as pressing.

"It's a long time, but there's a lot of work to be done and I expect that we'll be needing all of that time," he said.

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