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05 September 2012

Megaupload founder given access to funds to pay legal costs

Kim Dotcom, the controversial owner of online file-sharing web site Megaupload, has been granted access to his assets by New Zealand's High Court in order to fund his legal costs and living expenses while fighting extradition to the US.

New Zealand: extradition case

The court allowed Mr Dotcom – a 38-year-old German also known as Kim Schmitz - access to his NZ$6 million (US$4.84m) account and will also allow him to acquire additional funds from selling his fleet of luxury cars, reports technology news web site Social Barrel.

Fighting extradition

The funds will be a loan insured against a NZ$10m government bond posted by Mr Dotcom – who is currently fighting extradition to the US to face charges of copyright infringement and money laundering - to earn permanent residency in the country.

In a statement, Mr Dotcom said: 'The plan of the US government and New Zealand prosecutors to keep us locked up and from access to a proper legal defence has failed. We have a competent legal team that can now operate at full capacity to defend us.'

International warrant

Meanwhile, Cambodian authorities have confirmed they will deport a co-founder of file-sharing web site The Pirate Bay.

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg was detained in Phnom Penh after an international warrant was issued against him by Sweden, reports Computer Weekly. Mr Warg had been on the run after failing to report to serve a one-year prison sentence for breaching Swedish copyright laws in 2009.

It has not been confirmed that Mr Warg will be deported to Sweden however, as the two countries do not have an extradition treaty. Cambodian police spokesman Kirth Chantharith said: 'We just know we will deport him. As to which country, that would be up to the Swedish side.'

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