Until know, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s lawyers have been working for free, due to the fact that the entirety of his assets were seized by authorities earlier this year. However, now the New Zealand High Court has freed up $6 milion NZD (£3 million) borrowed against a government bond with total value of $10 million NZD (£5 million) in order for legal bills to be settled.
However the way the money will be spent is being strictly controlled by the court. Mr Dotcom is forbidden from using the money to pay for legal expenses of his co-defendants Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato or Mathias Ortmann. In fact the money has already been earmarked to pay for existing legal bills of $2.6 million NZD (£1.3 million), future costs valued at $1 million NZD (£0.5 million) and another $1 million NZD to cover the rent on Mr Dotcom’s expansive New Zealand home.
Interestingly though, the leftover $1.4 million NZD will not be allowed for use in paying off American legal fees, including those of Ira Rothken’s law firm, the company that has headed Dotcom’s defence.
Mr Rothken was quoted on a New Zealand based radio interview, saying that due to the enormous monetary resources available to the US and New Zealand governments, a ruling like this allows for a balancing of the field a little, giving Mr Dotcom significant funding of his own – despite the fact that it “worried” Rothken that his company wouldn’t see any of it.
As part of the move, the High Court has also released nine of Dotcom’s luxury vehicles, allowing them to be sold for further fundraising, though he won’t be given direct access to the money generated from the move.
KitGuru Says: It seems a bit hypocritical to not give Dotcom access to his many millions in liquid funds – presumably because it’s debatable if that money is legitemately his in the eye of the law – but to allow for the sale of property that was presumably purchased with the same sort of money.