Kim Dotcom allowed to swim and record album

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 14:41 02/04/2012
Kim Dotcom
YOUTUBE
MUSIC MAKING: Kim Dotcom in the studio.

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Internet-piracy accused Kim Dotcom will be able to record music, go swimming, access the internet and meet with his co-accused under relaxed bail rules.

Judge David Harvey granted all of the internet kingpin's wishes - although with some conditions - in the North Shore District Court this afternoon.

The Megaupload founder and the three men jointly charged with breaching copyright laws by the US government requested variations to their home detention conditions while they await an extradition hearing.

Dotcom's lawyer Paul Davison said his client wanted internet access, permission to meet with his co-accused to research their court case, permission to go swimming at the pool at his mansion and be allowed to travel to a music studio to finish recording an album.

The album was a collaboration between Dotcom and several international artists, some who had travelled from the United States, Davison said.

"[Dotcom] is involved in both the writing of lyrics and had input into aspects of music... appearances that some would say are cameo in nature," Davison said.

He said sales from the album would provide his client with revenue, which he was entitled to as a human right.

Judge Harvey granted the request, but said Dotcom could attend the studios on just two days each week, for no more than four hours.

Requests to attend the studios had to be made to probation 24 hours ahead, and Dotcom had to confirm his presence at the studios, preferably by sending a photo of himself.

Davison also said Dotcom also wanted to go swimming for 90 minutes each day to help with his back problems.

The pool is at Dotcom's Coatesville mansion, but bail conditions prevent him from entering the property. He and his family are living at another mansion nearby.

The judge said that was fine but asked Dotcom to attend each day at the same time - from 8pm until 9.30pm - or to organise another time with his electronic bail assessor.

Guyon Foley, lawyer for Dotcom's co-accused - Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk - said his clients needed to be able to travel to Dotcom's home to discuss their case.

He argued the men were not a flight risk.

Judge Harvey allowed the men to visit one day a week, for six hours.

Crown lawyer Anne Toohey, in her arguments, said that while the Crown did not oppose the swimming, they did prefer it was at a set time each day to save probation services extra work.

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The request to visit the studio, however, was opposed, as the Crown still believed Dotcom was a flight risk.

The Crown did not oppose the request for internet access, which was granted.

In making his decision, Judge Harvey said the behaviour of the applicants while on bail had been exemplary. He saw no reason for Dotcom to want to flee, given he was a family man and if he fled, he would have to live as a fugitive.

The judge also said it was consistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act that the defendants had the opportunity to meet and discuss their case.

- Auckland Now

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