30 Aug 2012

Dotcom granted access to funds

3:06 pm on 30 August 2012

Internet businessman Kim Dotcom has been granted access to $6 million of his money for legal fees, rent and bills.

United States authorities are seeking to extradite the co-founder of file-sharing website Megaupload to face charges relating to a major internet copyright prosecution.

Mr Dotcom, a German national, has New Zealand residency and was arrested at his mansion near Auckland in January this year.

Earlier in August, his lawyers asked the High Court for access to some of his funds and assets which had been frozen since his arrest.

His lawyers asked for money to pay for legal fees, which already stand at $2.6 million for seven months work. Mr Dotcom is also allowed to sell nine of his 15 cars.

Justice Potter stipulated on Wednesday that part of the money could be used on legal fees, but ruled an independant Queen's Counsel should examine the expenditure.

She says while the extensive legal proceedings have involved considerable time and effort, Mr Dotcom cannot be given carte blanche to spend the funds.

An extradition hearing to determine whether he should be sent to the US is scheduled for next year.