After months of living under house arrest and frozen assets, Megaupload leader Kim Dotcom has finally won a multimillion dollar victory in New Zealand court — one that will unfreeze some of his money and allow him to sell off some of his luxury cars so he can pay his attorneys.
Not a glamorous win, by any means, but it is what it is.
The Justice Department’s prosecution has been riddled with problems almost from the case’s beginning, back in January. This is another setback in their attempts to curb file-sharing.
So how much of his money will Dotcom now be able to fork right over to his lawyers? And which cars can he sell?
On Wednesday, Dotcom won access to $4.83 million of his frozen funds. Wired’s Threat Level clues us in and even spoke to Dotcom:
“It is good news because now we don’t have to fight with the hands tied behind our backs,” he said, adding that “this whole case is getting more interesting every week.”
He will be allowed to borrow against the $8 million New Zealand government bond that he paid in as a condition of gaining permanent residence in the country, and Justice Potter, presiding over the case, ordered that $800,000 be set aside for future legal expenses.
Dotcom also gets $800,000 to pay rent on his mansion until February next year, after a request to Hong Kong authorities for the release of $18 million so that he could purchase the house was declined earlier this month.
He also got permission to sell nine of his very special automobiles, including a customized 2009 Mercedes E500 and a 2008 Rolls Royce Coupe. If any of you Biglaw partners are in the market some new wheels, you know where to look.
Ira Rothken, one of the U.S. lawyers representing Dotcom, won’t get any money yet, and neither will Dotcom’s co-defendants. Looking through Justice Potter’s extensive ruling, it appears unclear whether or not his attorneys at Quinn Emanuel will receive any of the case — but after the beating the firm took in Apple v. Samsung last week, it could probably use the morale boost.
It’s a lot easier to fight the good fight with a couple million in your pocket, amirite?
Dotcom’s Frozen Funds Partially Thawed by New Zealand Court [Wired /Threat Level]