Megaupload founder denied bail
updated 6:49 AM EST, Wed January 25, 2012
This TV grab shows internet guru and Megaupload founder Kim Schmitz, far right, at an Auckland, New Zealand, court Friday.
- Kim Dotcom to remain in custody at least until February 22
- U.S. authorities shut down Megaupload last week
- They accuse the website of pirating copyrighted works
- Dotcom's lawyer says he is innocent
(CNN) -- A New Zealand court denied bail Wednesday to the founder of the shuttered file-sharing site Megaupload, whose extradition is being sought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Kim Dotcom, who is also known as Kim Schmitz, will remain in custody until at least February 22, when an extradition hearing is to be held, the court said.
U.S. authorities shut down Megaupload last week and announced indictments against Dotcom and six other people connected to the site, accusing them of operating an "international organized criminal enterprise responsible for massive worldwide online piracy of copyrighted works."
Four of those charged, including Dotcom, were arrested in New Zealand at the request of the U.S. government. The New Zealand police detained Dotcom, a German citizen, on Friday after a raid on his mansion in the North Shore area of Auckland, the country's largest city.
Feds shut down Megaupload website
In a packed court on Monday, Dotcom's lawyer, Paul Davison, said that his client is innocent and should be granted bail.
"Mr. Dotcom emphatically denies any criminal misconduct or wrongdoing and denies the existence of any 'mega-conspiracy,'" Davison told the court.
But New Zealand government prosecutors, acting on behalf of U.S. authorities, argued that Dotcom's bail request should be denied because he presented an "extreme" flight risk. Dotcom is a resident of New Zealand and Hong Kong.
"Dotcom Mansion" in Auckland, New Zealand, where four men were arrested Friday in connection with Megaupload.
Users of Megaupload -- ranked by the traffic-tracking service Alexa as the world's 72nd-most-visited website before it was taken down -- could share and download files, many of which were copyrighted works made available for download without permission, according to U.S. authorities.
They said the operation had generated more than $175 million in illegal profits through advertising revenue and the sale of premium memberships. Authorities have seized the company's servers and domain names and frozen $50 million in assets.
Davison said this week that, without access to his assets or travel documents, Dotcom did not present a flight risk. He added that his client wanted to stay in New Zealand with his pregnant wife and children.
He criticized the "aggressive" approach taken by the police and prosecutors in accusing and detaining Dotcom, saying it had "amplified the nature and gravity of this alleged offending beyond any reality."
He suggested it had created "a real misunderstanding and misconception of the business of Megaupload."
CNN's Karen Smith contributed to this story
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.