Bram van der Kolk, the lead programmer at MegaUpload, is out on bail today. The 29-year-old had a hearing in the North Shore District Court before Judge Pippa Sinclair, who sorted out what the bail conditions should be before his release.
U.S. Government Prosecutor Anne Toohey argued that der Kolk would try to set up a MegaUpload replacement as soon as he was out of jail. His lawyer, Guy Foley, called the prosecution's argument ridiculous because he would remain under heavy FBI surveillance.
Toohey also said that there was a risk that der Kolk would get in contact with his co-accused (there are seven in total) – four of which are currently in New Zealand and three in other countries. Two of the three in other countries are "still at large."
Foley argued that der Kolk should be allowed to two of the co-accused in New Zealand because they all share the same lawyer and need to communicate in order to mount a defense.
Judge Sinclair decided to release him with conditions that included no Internet access, police monitoring for Internet access, and a ban on speaking to any co-defendants other than those who are using the same lawyer as outlined by Foley.
Finn Batato, the 38-year-old from Germany whose bail was granted in principle during January but delayed because he needs a valid bail address, was also in court today. The address given by Batato is the residence of Kim Dotcom’s wife, Mona, but she was apparently ill today. Batato’s hearing will now take place tomorrow.
On a related note, a smaller house located alongside ‘Dotcom Mansion’ was seized today by authorities. Dotcom’s pregnant wife and their three children will be allowed to stay in the property for now. MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom is scheduled to appear in court February 22.