9 Jun 2014

Dotcom asks for $500,000 surety

10:31 pm on 9 June 2014

Lawyers for internet businessman Kim Dotcom are asking some of the world's biggest movie studios and record labels to stump up $500,000 if they want to pursue their application to freeze his assets.

Kim Dotcom wants companies trying to freeze his assets to put up $500,000 surety.

Kim Dotcom wants companies trying to freeze his assets to put up $500,000 surety. Photo: AFP

Mr Dotcom's lawyers say he could miss out on business opportunities if his assets are frozen, but the the film and record companies want the assets to compensate copyright holders.

The companies have said there are no grounds for Mr Dotcom's move, as he fights to avoid extradition to the United States on copyright infringement and money-laundering charges relating to his now-defunct Megaupload website.

According to documents filed by the record labels and viewed by Radio New Zealand, the companies said Mr Dotcom benefited from copyright infringements and are seeking to freeze bank accounts, $10 million in Government bonds, a fleet of Mercedes Benz cars, jewellery, art and electrical equipment.

Justice Fogarty on Monday described the surety money Mr Dotcom is seeking as peanuts to some of the biggest companies in the United States.

Lawyers for the record companies and the studios agreed the amount for their clients was small, but told the judge that there was no basis for the surety.

Matt Sumpter for 20th Century Fox said there was no proof before the court that Mr Dotcom would suffer any loss from freezing the New Zealand assets.

Kim Dotcom's lawyer Robert Gapes said the restraining orders were oppressive because his client had a number of court appearances in the next two months, including matters in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the main extradition hearing in July.

Justice Fogarty adjourned the matter for a week.