Alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom has been given $60,000 a month to live on while he battles extradition to the United States.
In a decision released today, the High Court said a $20,000 monthly living allowance would come from the interest paid on the $10 million Dotcom has invested in NZ government bonds. The remaining $40,000 will be paid in monthly instalments from a $301,000 bank account he has had returned to him.
It is understood the Crown wanted to drip-feed the $301,000, rather than pay it to him in a lump sum.
He was also today given back the use of his 2011 Mercedes Benz, and was told he could apply for more money for "other than living expenses".
Today's decision also gave one of Dotcom's co-accused, Bram van der Kolk, a monthly living allowance of $9166.
Dotcom had his bank accounts and assets seized following a raid on his Coatesville mansion earlier this year. He was told today he could now "operate new bank accounts" in New Zealand.
US authorities want to extradite him to face alleged copyright charges worth $500 million by his Megaupload file-sharing website.
Last month Dotcom asked the High Court at Auckland for $28,000 a month for living costs for his wife and children, $29,000 per month to pay staff and additional money for rent.
Instead, Justice Judith Potter granted the tycoon just over $30,000 to live off for three weeks - access to the money expired yesterday.
While the original application was made in open court, lawyers yesterday instead held closed-door talks.
Under the original interim order Dotcom's wife Mona received $20,000 for living expenses, $12,650 for medical expenses associated with the birth of her twins, and a 2010 Toyota vehicle.
The family argued they needed far more money - including $250,000 per quarter for rent - to cover their living costs while awaiting the extradition trial.
- © Fairfax NZ News