It’s starting to look like Kim Schmitz (aka Kim Dotcom) is going to be made an example of. Schmitz was arrested in New Zealand recently for operating MegaUpload, a cyber locker service that allows users to upload and share files. Now Schmitz is being denied bail by a New Zealand judge.
Judge David McNaughton ruled that Schmitz was to remain in custody until his extradition hearing, which is expected to occur on February 22nd. Lawyers who are representing the United States in the bail hearings claim that Schmitz is a flight risk due to his multiple passports and large amount of money. When Schmitz was arrested, authorities found multiple passports and more than 30 credit cards, all with different names on them.
Kim Schmitz was arrested last week in a raid on the mansion he leases in New Zealand. Authorities claim he barricaded himself in the mansion and was not cooperative during the arrest, adding to their case that he should be denied bail. Paul Davison, Schmitz’s lawyer, said that he plans to appeal the decision as soon as possible.
The US government claims that MegaUpload is a criminal operation, making money by allowing people to pirate movies, TV shows, music, etc. Federal investigators claim the “MegaUpload Conspriacy” has cost copyright owners more than $500 million in damages.
Within the next month, New Zealand courts will rule on whether Schmitz will be extradited to the US to face charges of money laundering, racketeering, and piracy. It seems very likely that he will be sent to the US to face those charges, but it will be interesting to watch this legal battle play out.