Dotcom has no intention of skipping the country, his lawyer says

Tough bail conditions imposed.
 
Kim Dotcom's lawyer has said his client is not a flight risk and has labelled the Crown and USA's case an "abuse of trust."

Mr Dotcom's bail hearing wrapped up today before Judge Nevin Dawson in the Auckland District Court. The Internet Party founder has been accused of breaching his old bail conditions and is argued to be a flight risk.   

Judge Dawson said he will deliver an oral verdict on the matter this afternoon. 

Lawyer Ron Mansfield told the court Mr Dotcom now has to seek more of the restrained funds, given a court order freezing his family trust. 

As NBR ONLINE reported last week the Trust Me Trust, which has been contested by Mr Dotcom's wife Mona Dotcom, has been frozen by movie studios in a separate case.  

Mr Mansfield told the court his client intends staying in New Zealand given he had already invested so much – $10 million – in the litigation.

"He had funds available and there were times, if he was minded to, he could have [left]," he told the court.   

The lawyer said there is no evidence Mr Dotcom has used helicopters or even planned to use helicopters to board a yacht to leave New Zealand. 

Mr Mansfield also indicated that Mr Dotcom's "investment" in local politics indicates he isn't going to leave. 

The lawyer for the accused internet pirate responded to the Crown's argument that Simpson Grierson dropping him as a client, and removing any mention of him on it's website, indicated he was a flight risk.

Mr Mansfield produced a letter from the law firm, which he said confirms Simpson Grierson's actions had nothing to do with him being a flight risk. 

In relation to the aliases Mr Dotcom had used, such as Mr Schmitz when he was stopped for speeding, Mr Mansfield said one incident didn't reflect a lack of candour on his client's part. 

He also addressed a suggestion that Mr Dotcom's split with Mona was not legitimate, and was being used to better secure their financial position.

Mr Mansfield said his client found the idea "offensive" and, while Mr Dotcom lives in a neighbouring property to Mona and has day to day contact with his children, he is separated from his ex-wife. 

"They remain parents and need to have contact for the benefit of their children. That is the responsible thing to do," Mr Mansfield said. 

Finally, Mr Mansfield said addressed an asserted $US2 million "refund" situation from a man known only as "SB," which had been suggested as proceeds of criminal offending. The lawyer for Mr Dotcom said this was a loan only and it was "mischievous" of the FBI agent to suggest otherwise.

Crown lawyer Christine Gordon QC's submissions in reply addressed the judge's wide discretion to impose electronic monitoring if he wished.

She said while Mr Mansfield says nothing has changed since Mr Dotcom's earlier bail hearing, her evidence showed that in fact it had.

Ms Gordon said again she "strongly rejects" any assertion that the proceedings weren't really about bail but were the US and Crown attempting to get Mr Dotcom to disclose other assets.  

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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