Dotcom cries broke

Accused pirate spills to London audience ahead of his Thursday bail hearing.

LATESTKim v Mona looks to be over as trust frozen

Accused pirate Kim Dotcom might still be living in a $25 million Coatesville mansion, and own the $5 million mini mansion next door, but he's crying broke.

Speaking by video link to the unBound Digital 2014 conference in London, Mr Dotcom said he had spent $10 million on his defence (coincidentally, the amount he invested in NZ government bonds as a condition of his residency). 

"They have certainly managed to drain my resources and dehydrate me and without lawyers, I'm defenceless, so they use that opportunity to try to get my bail revoked," he said.

"That's what I'm facing on Thursday."

He told the unBound crowd, "I thought that due to court decisions we were monitoring from our competitors like RapidShare who did exactly what we did and were winning in civil court proceedings, and YouTube was winning against Viacom - our sense was that we were protected by the DMCA law (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)." Dotcom's critics argue Megaupload was different, in part because while YouTube splits ad revenue with artists, Megaupload cut content creators out of the picture — but did pay cash incentives to reward those who uploaded popular files.

Mr Dotcom has had upwards of $5 million unfrozen by the Crown to allow him to fund his legal costs and living expenses, and has also regained some of the vehicles and other chattels seized in the January 20, 2012 raid on his mansion.

He is currently fighting several legal battles: extradition over alleged Megaupload offences; a fight over a trust with his estranged wife; his action against the police and the GCSB in relation to the raid on his home, and a civil action brought by US film studios and record companies. He recently also forked over $3.5 million (according to Electoral Commission records) or $4.5 million (by his account) funding the the Internet Party. Millions have also been spent trying to kick start his musical career.

Mr Dotcom told the London audience he had recently been dumped by his long-standing legal team (Simpson Grierson and Paul Davison QC).

At his November 18 bail hearing, Mr Dotcom was represented by barrister Ron Mansfield.

Mr Mansfield is known for working for many social justice causes including Greenpeace and Occupy Auckland. He also acted for cameraman Bradley Ambrose in the Teapot Tapes saga. His website indicates he can also be instructed as a legal aid lawyer and says he is a criminal and Bill of Rights specialist.

The November 18 bail hearing saw the Crown make bail breach allegations against Mr Dotcom that remain suppressed. 

District Court Judge Nevin Dawson reacted by banning Mr Dotcom from the use of helicopters or boats, or to travel more than 80km from his home.

The Crown has applied for Mr Dotcom's bail to be revoked altogether ahead of his extradition case (which, after a series of delays, is now scheduled to begin in June next year). The hearing is set down for tomorrow.

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