January 25, 2012 - 12:19 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A New Zealand judge ordered the founder of online file-sharing site Megaupload.com to be held in custody for another month on Wednesday, Jan 25, saying the suspected Internet pirate posed a significant flight risk.
Kim Dotcom, a German national also known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, was remanded in custody until Feb 22 ahead of a hearing of an extradition application by the United States.
Prosecutors say Dotcom was the ringleader of a group that netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorisation. Dotcom's lawyers say the company simply offered online storage and that he will fight extradition.
The judge said there was a significant risk Dotcom, who had passports and bulging bank accounts in three names, could try to flee the country.
"With sufficient determination and financial resources, flight risk remains a real and significant possibility which I cannot discount and bail is declined," Judge David McNaughton said. Dotcom, 38, and three others, were arrested on Friday after 70 New Zealand police raided his country estate at the request of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Officers cut Dotcom out of a safe room he had barricaded himself in within the sprawling mansion, reputedly New Zealand's most expensive home, Reuters reported.