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Dotcom hearing may be further delayed

16:38 Wed Nov 21 2012

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing is likely to be delayed even further, a court has heard.

Dotcom and his wife Mona were back in the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday asking for more money so they can keep paying their staff.

Mrs Dotcom wants $20,300 a month to be released from the restrained funds so her household staff, including nannies, cooks and butlers, can continue to be paid.

When the original court orders releasing the funds were made, Dotcom's extradition hearing was expected to be held in August this year.

The extradition hearing has been adjourned until March, but Anne Toohey, a lawyer acting on behalf of the commissioner of police, told the court there is a "high likelihood" it may now be delayed until July.

Mrs Dotcom's lawyer Aaron Lloyd said that under the original court orders, which have expired, the Dotcoms had received $40,000 a month to cover staff costs.

A commercial arrangement has since been reached in relation to security staff and costs, so Mrs Dotcom is only asking for $20,300 to be released each month to pay the remaining domestic staff, Mr Lloyd said.

Ms Toohey told the court the living costs the Dotcoms are receiving should be sufficient to cover the payment of domestic staff.

It was "unreasonable" and "extravagant" for Mrs Dotcom to be keeping five nannies and a number of other domestic staff, Ms Toohey said.

She also suggested that the smaller property owned by the Dotcoms, where a number of the staff are living, could be rented out to cover staff and living costs.

Justice Judith Potter requested additional material from counsel and adjourned the hearing.