New Zealand judge bails two of Megaupload accused

Two of the four people arrested in New Zealand on the Megaupload case have been released on bail, according to Stuff.

Finn Batato, chief marketing officer at Megaupload, and Bram van der Kolk, programmer, have been granted bail at the North Shore District Court after their hearing yesterday. Judge David McNaughton’s bail decision can be read here in the case of van der Kolk, and here for Batato.

Both men remain in custody until their homes have been determined suitable for electronic monitoring.

Due to late submissions the bail hearing for the third man, Mathias Ortmann, chief technical officer at Megaupload, will continue this afternoon. Judge McNaughton’s registrar says he does not expect a written decision until tomorrow.

Yesterday Kim Dotcom was remanded in custody until February 22, the judge denying him his application for bail. It is expected that an extradition hearing will be held at that time.

Judge McNaughton had reserved his decision since Monday afternoon, when Dotcom’s bail hearing was held. At the hearing, Crown prosecutor Anne Toohey claimed Dotcom posed a “significant” flight risk because of the sums of money available to him.

This was disputed by Dotcom’s lawyer, who told the court his client’s funds had all been seized, and that the media and US government had been ‘misrepresenting’ his client’s business.

Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann, and Bram van der Kolk face similar charges of copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. All four men were arrested on Friday by police who executed provisional arrest warrants requested by the US Department of Justice.

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