Arrested Megaupload programmer receives conditional release

Incarcerated Megaupload mastermind Kim Dotcom may have been denied bail after New Zealand police launched a controversial raid on his Auckland mansion last month, but one member of his inner circle has caught a break. Bram van der Kolk, a key programmer for Megaupload who was arrested alongside Dotcom, was set loose this week by a New Zealand judge under one strict condition.

Arrested Megaupload programmer receives conditional release
van der Kolk, left, at a January court hearing. IMAGE: Russia Today

According to The Brisbane Times, van der Kolk’s bail request was granted Thursday. The Dutch coder must remain under house arrest until his extradition hearing later this month. The judge who approved his release did so under the condition that his home remain completely disconnected from the Internet.

“I’m very happy to be out, definitely,” van der Kolk told courthouse reporters, adding that he’s “very confident” about beating extradition to the U.S.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide dug up further details on van der Kolk, revealing that he had earned more than $2 million in 2010 working for Dotcom’s Megaupload. The programmer married Filipino actress and model Asia Agcaoili in 2009. The couple has a two-year-old son.

American authorities are seeking to bring van der Kolk, Dotcom and five others to justice, naming them all as co-conspirators in a massive global piracy operation that cost American copyright holders hundreds of millions of dollars.

Beside Dotcom and van der Kolk, two others individuals were apprehended on January 20: German citizens Finn Batato and Mathias Ortmann. Andrus Nomm and Sven Echternach were arrested two days later, with Julius Bencko still at-large. (via TorrentFreak)