The beginning of the cases against Megaupload is upon us, with a bail hearing in New Zealand. In it, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's lawyer requested bail, arguing that he was not a flight risk and said he was innocent: "Mr Dotcom emphatically denies any criminal misconduct or wrongdoing, and denies the existence of a Mega Conspiracy."
During the trial, the defense and state also engaged in a back and forth over the circumstances of Dotcom's arrest after a police raid on his mansion. Apparently as police arrived, Dotcom triggered several electronic locks and retreated to a "safe room," requiring police to cut through gates to get to him. When Dotcom was found, he was near a gun, though he did not use it. Dotcom's defense argues that he was cooperative, adding that they believed the raid was "intended to have the most dramatic effect." The defense also claimed that a police officer scoped out Dotcom's surreptitiously the day before by visiting the home with a camera hidden inside a pen, which Davision called "utter nonsense."
The gun supposedly was loaded with a rubber bullet instead of live ammunition, but the state noted that neither Dotcom nor his security guard had a license for it. Despite Dotcom's explanations, the fact that he locked down his mansion and retreated to a "panic room" next to any sort of gun doesn't look good. No decision has been made about Dotcom's bail or later possible extradition to the US yet, but the prosecution has said he is a "flight risk at the extreme end of the scale" given his previous history and large financial resources.
Dotcom's defense made it clear that it would not back down on any point, "This is not a case where there will be any concession by Mr Dotcom," said Mr Davison. Given the amount of attention on the case and how strongly the FBI has pursued it, we expect that feeling is mutual.