3rd Megaupload accused gets bail

2012-02-15 08:26
Wellington - A third man accused of taking part in internet piracy along with Kim Dotcom, the millionaire German founder of the file-sharing Megaupload website, was released on bail, media reports said on Wednesday.

Mathias Ortmann, 40, from Germany was released to live with his co-accused Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato at van der Kolk's Auckland home under strict electronic bail conditions.

Batato, 38, a citizen and resident of Germany, was given bail in late January but had to remain in prison until bail conditions were finalised last week. Van der Kolk, 29, a Dutch citizen and resident of both the Netherlands and New Zealand, was the first to receive bail.

He and his co-accused are allowed no access to the internet as part of the bail conditions.

Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and the other suspects are wanted in the US on suspicion of copyright piracy. They were arrested in January after police raided the luxury mansion Dotcom was renting north of Auckland.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation wants Dotcom, 38, and the other co-accused to face trial on charges of racketeering, money laundering and copyright infringement.

US authorities alleged Megaupload breached intellectual property laws, costing copyright owners more than $500m.

Dotcom, who has New Zealand residency, was denied bail ahead of a deportation hearing due to be held next week. He denied any wrongdoing.
Read more on:    megaupload  |  cybercrime

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