AUCKLAND, New Zealand – A New Zealand judge is allowing Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom access to 6 million New Zealand dollars ($4.8 million) from his frozen bank accounts in order to pay his mounting legal fees and living expenses.
The 38-year-old multi-millionaire founder of the file-sharing site was arrested in January after U.S. authorities accused him of facilitating copyright piracy on a massive scale through his website. U.S. authorities are trying to extradite him on charges of money laundering and racketeering.
Dotcom denies the charges, claiming he's not responsible for users who chose to illegally download films and songs.
A judge earlier gave Dotcom access to funds to pay for living expenses but not legal costs. The ruling Wednesday includes 1 million New Zealand dollars ($805,000) for the annual rent on his luxury estate.