Dotcom share-trading convictions revealed
Friday 9 Mar 2012 8:02 a.m.
Kim Dotcom had been convicted on eight share-related charges in Hong Kong
The 38-year-old founder of file-sharing website Megaupload was granted New Zealand residency in November 2010.
Dotcom is currently on bail awaiting an extradition hearing. He is facing a number of internet piracy charges in the US in relation to the Megaupload site.
He was arrested on January 20 after a spectacular police raid on his $30 million rented mansion in Coastesville, north of Auckland.
Dotcom, a German national, applied for residency under the Investor Plus category, after investing $10 million in government bonds.
He was given a special direction which allowed him to gain residency, even though he did not meet good character requirements.
Dotcom had been previously convicted of insider trading and computer hacking in Germany, but these convictions were wiped under Germany's clean slate legislation.
However, in official documents from Immigration New Zealand released yesterday, it has been revealed that in December 2010, Dotcom was facing eight charges relating to the purchase of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Immigration New Zealand was advised a month later that Dotcom had been convicted on the charges and fined HK$8000 (NZ$1250), Radio New Zealand reports.
The documents show that under the Immigration Act, because of his convictions, the default position is that Dotcom would not have been eligible for residency.
However, this position can be overridden by a special direction from a senior official, which is what happened in Dotcom's case.
Immigration New Zealand stood by its decision to grant residency, saying Dotcom's character issues were outweighed by the benefit of his financial investments in New Zealand.