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Megaupload co-founder granted bail, New Zealand judge rules he's not a flight risk


After being denied twice, Megaupload co-founder Kim Dotcom has been granted bail by a New Zealand judge, who ruled he isn't in fact a flight risk. To date, the court's rationale for keeping Dotcom behind bars has been that he might flee to his native Germany in a bid to avoid extradition to the US, where he stands accused of generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds through the exchange of copyrighted material. And though prosecutors had previously argued that Dotcom has multiple passports and bank accounts and a "history of fleeing criminal charges," district court Judge N.R. Dawson concluded the risk of him taking off has been overstated. In particular, he noted, Dotcom has a wife, three children and another on the way, and that "the US government has not shown since [his] arrest that he has access to any money." Though he's returning home, so to speak, he's not permitted to enter the mansion where he's been living before his arrest (he'll instead stay in a small house nearby, according to Reuters). While there, he must wear an electronic tracking device on his ankle, and access to the internet (and helicopters!) is forbidden. And that, readers, is where he shall remain -- at least until the extradition hearing begins, likely sometime this summer.

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