New Zealand Court Extends Restraining Order on Kim Dotcom's Assets Worth Millions

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Kim Dotcom speaks during an interview with Reuters in Auckland
Kim Dotcom speaks during an interview with Reuters in Auckland January 19, 2013. REUTERS

The New Zealand Court of Appeals has frozen the assets of web tycoon and Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom. According to reports, the court has extended the restraining order on some of Dotcom's property worth millions of dollars.

Dotcom, the German native based in New Zealand, is accused of masterminding an Internet piracy ring. The original court ruling was issued in 2012 and was set to expire last April. However, the new ruling has extended the expiry date to April 2015.

The United States government has targeted Dotcom for being the founder of file-sharing site Megaupload. The site was shut down in 2012 after the U.S. indicted him on piracy charges. Reports said the Motion Picture Association of America general counsel Steven Fabrizio said the six big Hollywood studios have filed a complaint against Dotcom in federal court.

Dotcom has avoided extradition by remaining in New Zealand where he has gained a significant following. Although he is not qualified to run in the upcoming New Zealand elections in September, he has been actively campaigning for his political party.  The Internet Party is targeting the young voters of the country. The party has since forged an alliance with the Mana party to form the Internet Mana.

Dotcom has been seen in election campaigns to promote the party's platform of free university education, inexpensive Internet and renewable energy. He told media that he wanted to give the youth "a voice in politics."

The embattled Internet entrepreneur has often clashed with Prime Minister John Key, reports said. Dotcom has previously announced that he will unleash a "political bomb" five days before the election in September.

Mr Key dismissed Dotcom's surprise re. velation. The prime minister, who is running for another term, said Dotcom was only trying to draw the people's attention.

Dotcom's involvement in politics has led to accusations of him being the source of Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics. The book contains allegations that Mr Key and his National party hired bloggers to attack the opposition. The author has since denied the involvement of Dotcom. 

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