updated 10:45 pm EST, Tue January 24, 2012
Kim Dotcom considered flight risk
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has been denied bail by a New Zealand court. The presiding judge, David McNaughton, accepted prosecution arguments that Dotcom posed a flight risk and remanded him in custody until February 22. At that time, US authorities will put forward their grounds for the extradition of Dotcom to face criminal charges.
"The applicant's unlawful possession of the firearm is another factor which weighs in the balance," said judge McNaughton.
"It suggests a level of criminality which to my mind could easily extend to exploiting criminal connections to obtain false travel documents and leave the country undetected," he added.
Dotcom's legal team had argued that their client had not committed a crime, would not be a flight risk, and had no plans to restart his website. However, prosecutor Anne Toohey successfully argued that he holds multiple passports, has extensive financial resources and previous criminal convictions, later wiped clean, in Germany.
Megaupload.com is currently subject to an FBI investigation for propagating online piracy by failing to proactively stop users from using its resources to commit copyright infringement. The FBI has seized the website and also made, or initiated, several additional related arrests. [via BBC]