A New Zealand judge on Wednesday rejected the bail application of the founder of Online company, arrested in New Zealand at the request of the US FBI who accuses him of massive piracy.
Denies the charges
Kim Schmitz, aka Kim Dotcom, a 37-year-old German, arrested on Friday with three other Online company officials, is to remain in detention until 22 February. He denies the charges of American justice, according to which his platform of direct download on the Internet was built on the violation of the copyright.
” Thanks to Schmitz’s determination and financial resources, there is a proven risk of absconding, ” Judge David McNaughton said in a written judgment.
In 2010 alone, Kim Schmitz would have received 42 million dollars (32 million euros) through its activities on the internet, according to US authorities.
The imposing German businessman appeared in great shape at the exit of the court, greeting his fans massed outside, according to AFP journalists.
The New Zealand public prosecutor’s office objected to his release, claiming that the police had found at his home passports and credit cards with different names.
He also recalled that he had in the past fled to Thailand to escape the German justice, which sought him at the time in another case. But Germany does not extradite its nationals to the United States.
The defense argued that Kim Schmitz had no intention of stealing and that he wanted to stay in New Zealand with his pregnant wife.
” All his assets have been frozen, all his resources seized, he lives here with his wife and family, he has no intention of leaving New Zealand, ” said his lawyer, Paul Davison, announcing that he would appeal.
US justice has 45 days to file extradition request for Schmitz and his three associates arrested with him but the process could take months, the time that the New Zealand justice decides on the criminality or not of Online company.
Three other persons are included in the indictment in the United States.
The Dutch authorities announced Tuesday the arrest of an Estonian in connection with the case, without confirming that it was Andrus Nomm, a programmer responsible especially for the maintenance of the site, and targeted by the Act of American accusation.
Based in Hong Kong, Online company, which claimed to gather 50 million users daily and represent 4% of the web, was closed last week by US justice.
US justice has seized $ 50 million in assets and accuses Online company officials of having fired some $ 175 million in profits, causing $ 500 million in damages to rights holders.
At the head of this flood of money, the imposing ” Kim Dotcom ” lived in the purest ” bling-bling ” style, with his huge Dotcom mansion (Dotcom mansion) near Auckland, where the police seized among others a pink Cadillac of 1959 and a Rolls Royce Phantom, as well as works of art.
The closure of Online company, which rocked the internet world, was immediately followed by reprisals from the hacker group Anonymous, which took the FBI and the US Justice Department and the French Presidency out of action for several hours. , who had welcomed the American initiative.