Megaupload founder Dotcom freed on bail

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Megaupload founder Dotcom freed on bail

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The founder of the file-sharing site Megaupload, wanted by the US for alleged widespread internet piracy, has been granted bail by a New Zealand court.

The judge in Auckland rejected claims that Kim Dotcom posed a flight risk pending an extradition hearing, and instead put him under effective house arrest.

The 38-year-old German is accused of copyright piracy, racketeering and moneylaundering. He had been in custody for over a month.

“I’m relieved to go home and see my three little kids and my pregnant wife. And, you know, I hope you understand that’s all I want to say right now,” he told reporters outside the court.

Dotcom, whose real name is Schmitz, will not be going home to his New Zealand mansion, but to a small rented house nearby. As part of the investigation, his property has been seized and bank accounts frozen.

He has now been banned from using the internet.

Last week a US grand jury added more charges of fraud and copyright infringement against Megaupload and its executives.