Kim Dotcom granted access to Hong Kong assets
The Internet’s most notorious entrepreneur Kim Dotcom continues to spark the world’s intrigue.
It has been reported that the tech mogul has finally been allowed to withdraw money from his Hong Kong accounts in order to pay for his recent extradition hearing as well as living expenses.
At the request of the US government more than HK$300m (AU$53m) of Dotcom’s assets were seized by Hong Kong customs officers.
The court costs for the hearing is reported to be in the millions and with claims that both the US and the Hong Kong Government have refused Dotcom adequate access to his assets, the unfair procedural nature of his situation has become the crux of Dotcom’s fight.
In a report by theSouth China Morning Post, Deputy Judge Wilson Chan Ka-Shun stated that Dotcom was entitled to his assets after he sufficiently disclosed to the court his financial situation. Chan-Ka-Shun stated: “I am satisfied that Dotcom is not able to meet his own [expenses].”
In true Dotcom form, he responded to Chan-Ka-Shun’s judgment via Twitter:
It’s been reported the ruling by the New Zealand courts will allow Dotcom NZ$80,000 a month to cover his living expenses. It has also been reported that the extravagant lifestyle of the Meaupload Founder is something that the court took into consideration when awarding access to his assets.
In November, Dotcom told the New Zealand Herald: “When I couldn’t do it with the court funds that were made available I started a new business and I built that primarily to be able to pay my legal fees and be able to keep this home for my family.
“[The apartment is] significantly more humble than what I am used to but that’s OK. I am also not living with a partner any more, we have reduced our staff numbers significantly and this place feels a little bit big now.”
In a statement also to the New Zealand Herald, prosecutor Wayne Walsh highlighted the fact that Dotcom had to cut back on his “Rolls-Royce Lifestyle”.
If convicted Kim Dotcom could be facing 10 years behind bars along with his other Megaupload cohorts. Dotcom has previously faced jail time for fraud, espionage and received a suspended sentence in 2004 for insider trading.