16 February 2012

Authorities defend decision over Megaupload founder's New Zealand visa

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New Zealand Department of Labor's acting head has claimed the decision to grant notorious Internet entrepreneur, Kim Dotcom, a New Zealand visa followed correct procedure.

New Zealand visa

Megaupload's founder Kim Dotcom was granted a New Zealand visa under controversial circumstances.

The German-Finnish entrepreneur was granted a New Zealand visa in 2010 under the Investor Plus category which permits people to gain residency if they are willing to invest NZ$10 million (£5 million) in a government scheme.

However, the decision to grant Dotcom a visa was controversial due to his previous convictions in Germany for insider trading as well as the handling of stolen goods and embezzlement.

Further scrutiny was placed on the decision when Dotcom and three others were arrested on 19, January at the NZ$30 million (£15.5 million) mansion they were renting on charges of copyright infringement due to the hugely popular website Megaupload and its subsidiaries.

Prime Minister John Keys had ordered New Zealand immigration officials to review the case and check the validity Dotcom's case .

The acting chief executive of New Zealand Department of Labor, appearing before a Parliamentary select committee to answer questions regarding the case, defended the department's decision to grant the visa and claimed all proper protocol had been abided by and that Dotcom had met the criteria to qualify for the Investor Plus program.

Dotcom remains in custody while an extradition order from the United States is pending.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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