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Dotcom Granted Access to Car, Cash for Expenses by N.Z. Court

Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload.com, left, as he and his wife leave the high court in Auckland on Feb. 29, 2012. Photographer Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg
Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload.com, left, as he and his wife leave the high court in Auckland on Feb. 29, 2012. Photographer Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Megaupload.com founder Kim Dotcom, accused of orchestrating the biggest copyright infringement conspiracy in U.S. history, was awarded access to a car and cash for living expenses by a New Zealand court.

High Court Justice Judith Potter today ordered Dotcom will get NZ$60,000 ($48,800) a month and use of a Mercedes Benz four-wheel drive vehicle that was confiscated from him by authorities. A copy of the order was e-mailed to Bloomberg News.

Dotcom, 38, was indicted in what U.S. prosecutors dubbed a “Mega Conspiracy,” accusing his file-sharing website of generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds from the exchange of pirated film, music, book and software files. He faces as long as 20 years in prison for each of the racketeering and money laundering charges in the indictment.

Dotcom was arrested at his Auckland residence in late January and spent four weeks in jail before being released to await an extradition hearing, currently scheduled for Aug. 20.

The expense payments come from Dotcom’s existing bank accounts and from interest on his holdings of government bonds, according to Justice Potter’s order. He must arrange insurance, certification and garaging for the car

A business associate, Bram van der Kolk, was granted access to NZ$9,166 a month, according to the order.

The New Zealand case is Kim Dotcom v. United States of America. DCNSD [25 January 2012]. District Court at North Shore (Albany).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Bourke at cbourke4@bloomberg.net

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