Megupload millionaire Kim Dotcom could be legally allowed to buy his Kiwi dream home as earlier as next month – but can’t get access to his funds to do so.
The piracy-accused was yesterday granted the release of $6 million in seized assets by the High Court to cover legal bills and the rent on his Auckland mansion as he awaits an extradition hearing.
However, court documents show it’s still not enough for the German internet giant who originally intended to buy the palatial residence for $18m at the end of this year, when he becomes an “ordinary resident” and no longer subject to Overseas Investment Office regulations.
Dotcom was previously denied the right to buy the Coatesville property by Associate Finance Minister Simon Power and Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson who decided he did not meet the “good character” test to buy land here in 2011.
But in the judgment, Dotcom said he doesn’t require that consent after September 27 and plans to buy the property when enough of his funds are released.
Justice Judith Potter allowed Dotcom the use of $6m. That includes $2.6m for legal fees, $1m for future costs and $1m for rent.
She also allowed the release of nine luxury cars, which will be sold to raise money.
Dotcom said he was happy about the “fair” High Court ruling.
“It will allow us to fight back,” he said.
The money will come from a Government bond worth $10m which was seized on behalf of the United States as part of its case against Megaupload.
The US has accused Megaupload of internet piracy including copyright, wire fraud and racketeering and believes all of Dotcom’s seized assets were gained illegally.
Justice Potter’s ruling against the seizures was her second – earlier this year the judge allowed Dotcom access to more than $750,000 of cash, investments and cars.
He was also allowed a $20,000 monthly living allowance, and the use of a 2011 Mercedes-Benz G55AMG, a bank account with another $301,000 and some expenses for his wife.
Dotcom also enjoys relaxed bail conditions which allow him access to the internet, permission to go swimming and use a recording studio.