Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, one of the world's leading file-sharing and online storage sites (but is now defunct), was granted bail, Wednesday, by a New Zealand court, but his freedom has been curtailed with a series of restrictions.
Megaupload was shut down by the U.S. authority in January, and Dotcom and other top executives of the site were arrested and charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.
On Wednesday, the court ruled Dotcom was not a flight risk and could be released without posting bond to rejoin his pregnant wife and three children at their home, which is located near the rented luxurious Dotcom Mansion, which was seized by the authority last month, according to USA Today. Dotcom's accomplices were also released on bail.
However, Dotcom's freedom has a series of restrictions. For instance, he can neither access the Internet, nor travel over 50 miles from his home without police permission. Moreover, the property is being electronically monitored and no helicopter will be permitted to land on his property at Coatesville, Auckland.
Nevertheless, there is an exception to the restrictions for a medical emergency, because Dotcom's wife is due to give birth to twins on March 28.
The Internet millionaire was denied bail twice, for the judge had ruled that Dotcom posed a flight risk. Dotcom could escape to his home country Germany, which has no extradition treaty with the U.S, the prosecutors said. And Dotcom could also gain access to large sums of secret fund, for he is in possession of multiple and credit cards under different names, they said.
But this time, the situation has changed. Judge Nevin Dawson has dismissed the prosecutor's concerns, saying as Dotcom's assets had been seized and finances frozen, he has lost the resources to flee.
Dotcom would be abandoning his expectant wife and three children, and he would effectively lose all the considerable assets and bank accounts in a number of countries that have been seized or frozen, the judge wrote in the ruling.
And even if Dotcom were to flee to other countries, he could still be prosecuted there. Absconding to either of those countries would not result in an immunity from prosecution, Dawson added.
No exact date has been set for Dotcom's extradition hearing, but it won't be until July, the court ruling said.