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Megaupload man refused bail

A New Zealand judge has ordered Kim Dotcom, the founder of online file-sharing site Megaupload.com, to be held in custody for another month, saying the suspected Internet pirate posed a significant flight risk.

Dotcom, a German national also known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, was remanded in custody until February 22nd ahead of a hearing of an extradition application by the US.

Prosecutors say Dotcom was the ringleader of a group that netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorisation. Dotcom’s lawyers say the company simply offered online storage and that he will fight extradition.

The judge said there was a significant risk Dotcom, who had passports and bulging bank accounts in three names, could try to flee the country. “With sufficient determination and financial resources, flight risk remains a real and significant possibility which I cannot discount and bail is declined,” Judge David McNaughton said.

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