A New Zealand court has denied a request to extend the freeze on Kim Dotcom's assets.
In the lead-up to the 2012 raid on Kim Dotcom's mansion in New Zealand, restraining orders were granted that put a freeze on his assets and allowed authorities to seize properties like cars and artwork. But those orders are due to expire on April 18, and while the Crown made application to extend them, the New Zealand High Court rejected the request.
The basis for the rejection lies in the reason for extension application. The original restraining orders were granted as part of the criminal prosecution, but the request for extension is based on a "future action for civil forfeiture," according to RT.com, and Dotcom's lawyer successfully argued that New Zealand's Criminal Proceeds Act does not allow restraining orders to be extended based on new grounds. The "future action" presumably ties in to lawsuits filed against Dotcom by various Hollywood studios and the RIAA, alleging that he earned huge profits by promoting copyright infringement through the now-defunct Megaupload service.
Dotcom was predictably happy with the ruling. "The NZ asset ruling is HUGE. We've just filed a case in Hong Kong against unlawful seizure of #Megaupload. The U.S. case is falling apart!" he tweeted. "Our assets were seized for 800 days and still I was able to fight back even with my hands tied behind my back. Imagine what I can do now!!!"
Although not quite "now," actually. The order freezing Dotcom's assets will remain in place for another 14 days to give the Crown time to appeal the ruling.