Dotcom Raid Warrants Legal, Rules Appeals CourtBy: Sean Patterson - February 19, 2014
The Court of Appeal of New Zealand this week ruled that the warrants executed by police in the January 2012 raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion were legal. This is despite the fact that the Court of Appeal admitted the warrants contained “defects,” which they held should not nullify the documents as a whole.
This decision reversed a High Court ruling that declared the warrants invalid due to their over-broad nature. Dotcom’s legal team has stated that it is now reviewing the Court of Appeal decision. Dotcom is expected to appeal the decision to the Surpreme Court.
Kim Dotcom’s New Zealand mansion was raided as part of a U.S.-led investigation into online piracy. Dotcom was the founder of Megaupload, a file hosting service that was seized by the U.S. Department of Justice in conjunction with the raid.
Since that time Dotcom has launched another file hosting website called Mega. More recently the millionaire has been working to found a new political in New Zealand.
Though the warrants were ruled to be legal, another matter addressed by the appeal was not decided in favor of police. The Court of Appeal ruled that the Commissioner of Police’s transfer of data seized in the raid to the FBI was illegal. This ruling could make it difficult for Dotcom to be extradited to the U.S. in the future, as the evidence contained in the terrabytes of data seized in the raid may not be valid due to its mishandling.
Dotcom himself stressed this latter ruling via his Twitter account, cheekily accusing the FBI of piracy:
Court ruling: The only party found to have committed piracy in the #Megaupload case: The FBI. Shipping my hard drives unlawfully to the US.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) February 19, 2014
Imgave via Kim Dotcom/Twitter